CollectionMine

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admin2 On March - 9 - 2011

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The tax man cometh, but he’s not the only one after your money.

The upcoming income tax season is another prime opportunity for scam artists to ply their trade. 

In Canada scammers are sending out emails purporting to be from Canada Revenue Agency, and good news: You have a refund! The email then links to a fraudulent refund form that looks a lot like the other pages on the real CRA website.

Canadians should be aware that Canada Revenue Agency does not, and never will, ever, complete transactions through email. Any email request purporting to be from them is fraudulent. In other words, if you get a refund notification by email, don’t even bother to click on the link.

Canada Revenue Agency uses snail mail, not email. The genuine CRA website allows Canadians to sign up to access their account details online. Even then the access code is sent via snail mail. 

In the United States, scammers are identifying themselves as the IRS, or as a legitimate tax preparer. They have created fake websites that mirror the real ones very closely. According to Scambusters.org, there are approximately 5000 of these fake websites out there. 

Some of the emails the scammers are sending out inform you of a refund coming your way. You are given a link to the “refund claim form” which of course, if completed, will give the scammers all the personal information they need to inflict major damage to your foreseeable future. 

Some of the scammers’ emails provide you with a link to a document outlining changes in the tax law. Not surprisingly the link will download malware onto your computer.

Other emails from scammers scream the word “audit” and provide you with links to forms that they want you to complete. Again, armed with your personal and account information, they can steal your identity and do major damage to your life.

Americans should know that the IRS, just like Canada Revenue, does not ever, ever send unsolicited emails about tax accounts. You cannot apply for a tax refund except by filing a tax return. There is no separate online form to fill out. 

So beware the scammers this income tax season. They’re out there, and they’re sneaky, and they’re the last people on the planet you want to give access to your personal and income tax information.

If you do receive a fraudulent email such as the ones mentioned above, you would probably want to inform the real tax man about the scam. They would really want to know.

Again, as well as protecting your personal and income tax information, you should also protect your computer files. If your computer was stolen or damaged or lost, could you easily replace or restore your personal data? CollectionMine’s online data backup and storage software allows you to keep your most valuable, irreplaceable information in a world-class data centre, safe from harm and from prying eyes.

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