New CRA Scam: an Email Called Pending Tax Refund

There have been several CRA scams recently many of which have caused people to lose money and live in fear. The most recent one I encountered came as an email into my regular Bell email Inbox. The “sender” was listed as the Canada Revenue Agency and the “subject” was listed as “$288.54 Pending Tax Refund.” Of course I recognized it was a scam right away–because I haven’t even filed my taxes yet!

What Did the Text of the Fraudulent Email I Received Claiming to be from the CRA Say?

(Note: I cut the text from the email and posted it into Notepad, then copied it from Notepad into this note to exclude any links.)

Тах Rеfund Νоtіfісаtіоn
Dеаг Ѕіг/Μаdаm,

Аftег thе lаѕt аnnuаl саlсulаtіοnѕ οf уοuг fіѕсаl асtіνіtу, wе hаνе dеtегmіnеd thаt уοuг аге еlіgіblе tο гесеіνе а tаx геfund οf СΑD 288.54 , Рlеаѕе ѕubmіt thе tаx геfund геquеѕt аnd аllοw 6-9 dауѕ іn οгdег tο ρгοсеѕѕ іt.
Fіlіng dеаdlіnе: Аρгіl 5, 2017

Рlеаѕе fіlе уοuг іnсοmе tаx аnd bеnеfіt геtuгn οn tіmе tο mаκе ѕuге thеге аге nο іntеггuρtіοnѕ tο уοuг Саnаdа сhіld bеnеfіt, GЅТ/ΗЅТ сгеdіt, аnd сhіld dіѕаbіlіtу bеnеfіt ρауmеnt.

[Big Red Button titled: Claim Tax Refund]

Rеgагdѕ,
2017 Саnаdа Rеνеnuе Αgеnсу (СRΑ)
Rеfund Dеρагtеmеntѕ.

How Do I Know This CRA Refund Email Is a Scam?

  • The CRA does not send you email directly. It sends you a note telling you to sign in to your CRA account and read their email there.
  • I did not file my income tax return yet.
  • I will not be getting a refund.
  • The CRA does not need you to do anything to claim your refund. They just mail you a cheque via Canada Post or make a direct deposit into your bank account. If they can’t find you, they are happy to keep your money forever.

What Should You Do If You Get This Scam Email NOT from the CRA?

If you get this note or a similar fraudulent email,

  • do NOT click on any links!
  • report it to your internet service provider
  • delete the note after reporting it and empty your Trash bin

You may wish to run a scan on your computer for viruses as well.

Please be careful. There seems to be a new CRA scam invented every week or two!


Related Reading

Have you received this email, too? Or did you get one of the so-called phone calls from the CRA asking you to pay your back taxes by mailing them iTunes cards? Please share your fraud story with a comment.

 

What To Do With the Cash in My RRSP and TFSA Brokerage Accounts

The great thing about the stocks I own in my TFSA and RRSP is that they pay dividends monthly or quarterly. That cash starts to pile up though after a few months, especially if I don’t see anything I want to invest in for the long term. If I put in a new contribution without having a plan for it, my stack of cash can grow into the thousands. That’s what happened recently in both my TFSA and my RRSP brokerage accounts and I decided to park the cash temporarily until I decide how to use it.

What Cash Savings Options Does BMO InvestorLine Offer for TFSA and RRSP Accounts?

You can have a RRSP with investments in Canadian dollars or American (US) dollars at BMO InvestorLine. So they offer two ‘high interest’ savings account mutual funds, one in USD and one in CAD. They also offer a cashable GIC.

What Interest Rates Are AAT770 and AAT780 Paying on Cash Investments at BMO InvestorLine?

Today, on March 18, 2017, the rates are

  • AAT770 0.75% on Canadian dollar, CAD, investments
  • AAT780 0.50% on American dollar, USD, investments

The money is deposited as if you are buying a no-fee mutual fund. It takes the trading day plus one business day to settle.

What Interest Rates are Cashable GICs Paying at BMO InvestorLine?

Today, on March 18, 2017, they are offering

  • a one-year GIC, cashable after 30 days, which pays an annual interest rate if held to maturity of 0.85%.

For reference, a one-year-fixed-term GIC (which cannot be cashed before the year is up) is paying an annual interest rate of 1.25%.

What Cash Savings Options Does RBC Direct Investing Offer for TFSA and RRSP Accounts?

RBC Direct Investing offers two ‘high interest’ savings account mutual funds, one in USD and one in CAD. They also offer a cashable GIC.

What Interest Rates Are RBF2010 and RBF2014 Paying on Cash Investments at RBC Direct Investing?

Today, on March 18, 2017, the rates are

  • RBF2010 0.75% on Canadian dollar, CAD, investments
  • RBF2014 0.45% on American dollar, USD, investments

What Interest Rates are Cashable GICs Paying at RBC Direct Investing?

Today, on March 18, 2017, they are offering

  • a one-year GIC, cashable after 30 days, which pays an annual interest rate if held to maturity of 0.70%.

For reference, a one-year-fixed-term GIC (which cannot be cashed before the year is up) is paying an annual interest rate of 1.40%.

What Cash Savings Options Does CIBC Investor’s Edge Offer for TFSA and RRSP Accounts?

You can have a RRSP with investments in Canadian dollars or American (US) dollars at CIBC Investor’s Edge. So they offer two ‘high interest’ savings account mutual funds, one in USD and one in CAD. They also offer a cashable GIC.

What Interest Rates Are ATL5000 and ATL5500 Paying on Cash Investments at CIBC Investor’s Edge?

Today, on March 18, 2017, the rates are

  • 0.75% on Canadian dollar, CAD, investments
  • 0.55% on American dollar, USD, investments

What Interest Rates are Cashable GICs Paying at CIBC Investor’s Edge?

Today, on March 18, 2017, they are offering

  • a one-year GIC, cashable after 30 days, which pays an annual interest rate if held to maturity of 0.5%.

For reference, a one-year-fixed-term GIC (which cannot be cashed before the year is up) is paying an annual interest rate of 1.26%.

So now I know my options, I can park my cash. It doesn’t look like I should leave it sitting idly by for too long at those rates though!


Related Reading

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Do you have some cash parked in one of your brokerage accounts? Have you found a better way to make money with your cash while waiting to invest? Please share your experiences with a comment.