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.

 

You Have to Be Rich to Get a Minimum Wage Job! What It Cost for My Teen Relative to Get Their First Job

My young relative landed the first job to which he ever applied. It was so easy: he applied online, arranged a time after school to attend the interview, accepted the employment contract, opened his first chequing account with a debit card to permit direct deposit of his pay, and showed up for work on time with the correct gear. But it’s a good thing his family was rich enough to pay all the costs required to get that first minimum-wage job!

What Are the Costs for a Student to Get Qualified for Their First Part-time Job?

Obviously, every job has different requirements. But many jobs have similar needs and the costs are similar to the person trying to land the job.

Here’s what my young relative needed to spend to get a job with a city Parks and Recreation department:

  • Emergency First Aid and CPR training $53
  • Police check $25
  • High Five Principles of Healthy Childhood Development $79
  • Acquiring the required safety equipment for the job $44
  • Leadership in Training $110

That’s right. He paid $311 to get qualified for his first minimum-wage job.

How Long Will He Have to Work to Re-Pay the Costs for Gaining a Job?

At $11 an hour, which is more than he will actually make after deductions, it will take over 28 hours of work for this student to pay back the costs of getting his job. At 3-6 hours of work per week, that’s a long, long time!

The costs for a student learning to be a life guard are much higher. They must take swimming lessons for years and then pay for their life guarding courses and certificates.

Isn’t It Outrageous to Pay So Much to Get a Job?

Well at first it seems crazy to pay that much just to get a minimum-wage job.
But then you start thinking about college and university costs.

To get a degree in Early Childhood Education from Sheridan College costs $8492 just for the tuition fees. I’m sure there are other costs and they may be quite significant.

What does the average E.C.E. earn? The jobs posted online in Ontario today  pay $14/hour. The payscale.com website says the average is $15/hour.

Without any deductions, at $14/hour, it would take about 606 hours of work just to pay the tuition cost for an E.C.E. diploma. That’s more than 15 weeks of working 40 hour weeks, although many of these jobs don’t offer 40 hours.

Yes, it costs a lot of money to get a job!

Be Prepared to Volunteer Just to Get a Job

My young relative also volunteered (unpaid of course) for over 130 hours before applying for the job. We know that the employer looks more favourably upon applications from people who have volunteered with their programs. It gives them a chance to test the person’s reliability and skills for free and shows a commitment to working.

We know other young people working as camp counsellors, life guards and swimming instructors. They were definitely expected to volunteer before applying for paid employment.

Do I Think My Young Relative Was Foolish to Pay So Much to Get a Job?

No, I don’t. I think a job is more than just the pay. My relative enjoys the type of work and is considering working in that area after graduating. It’s an interesting job and could lead to other types of employment in the future. There is a chance to make contacts and to obtain valuable references.

I do wonder and worry, though, if students in low-income families are not even able to apply for such jobs because of the high cost of the prerequisite training. If so, that’s deplorable.


Related Reading

Join In
Did you ever list how much it cost to help someone find a job? Was it shocking how much money it took to find work? Please share your views with a comment.