VANCOUVER – According to a survey conducted by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, almost three-quarters of Canadians have received fraudulent requests and one in three have fallen victim to one or more types of fraud at some point in their lives.
March is Fraud Prevention Month and as British Columbians prepare to file their tax returns, here are three ways they can protect themselves from potential fraud:
- Use a legitimate tax filing software
If you file your taxes online, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers a list of certified tax software on their website. Their list includes both free and paid software.
- Learn to identify legitimate communications from the CRA
Always be vigilant when you receive communications claiming to be from the CRA, especially when they request personal information. Fraudsters may also use threatening or coercive language to scare you to take immediate action. A good way to avoid them is to ignore calls and texts from unrecognized numbers. Find out what you can expect when the CRA contacts you to avoid being a victim of fraud.
- Protect your passwords
Use a different password for each of your accounts and keep them in a secure place. When choosing a password, make sure it is complicated with a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters. It is also important to shred all documents containing personal information.
To help British Columbians navigate through the tax season safely, the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) will be hosting a virtual Fraud Protection session as a free public service to individuals. The session will be delivered by a CPA volunteer on March 24, 2021 at noon.
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for over 37,000 CPA members and 5,500 CPA students and candidates. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are recognized internationally for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, and leadership to organizations.