Even police are not immune to phishing scams. Saanich Police Deputy Chief Bob Downie received a legitimate looking phishing email apparently from the Canada Revenue Agency.

This particular email included a claim that CRA owed the recipient $252.02. However, to claim it required completing an online form which included very personal data like a mother's maiden name and credit card number.

"This email is sophisticated and appears very authentic. It is no wonder that people are tricked into providing personal data especially if they are more trusting or less cautious in nature," says Deputy Chief Bob Downie.

Tips to ascertain whether this is a scam include:

• Reputable institutions will not ask for personal data via email

• Check grammar, spelling and diction. Often times the off-shore emails include glaring and obvious errors

• Be skeptical of any email solicitation for funds or requesting personal data and follow up with a phone call if necessary

The best way to avoid these types of scams is to ignore any solicitations that come by email. Remember, it is unlikely you have won a lottery you never entered or that you were unaware that someone owed you a refund. A healthy dose of skepticism is important in cases like this.

An excellent resource is a Government of Canada web resource about phishing:

http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/le/bs/phish-eng.aspx

 

A copy of the original email is included below:

 

From: Canada Revenue Agency [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 5:05 AM

Subject: Tax Notification

Canada Revenue Agency

www.cra.gc.ca FILE REF NO. 3049834

Date: June 18, 2012

Subject: TAX RETURN FOR YEAR 2011

Dear Taxpayer,

I am sending this email to announce: After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity

we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax return of:

252.02 CAD

To receive your return, please complete and submit the Tax Return Form attached to this

email and allow us 3-5 business days in order to process it.

Yours sincerely

SARAH BROWN

Canada Revenue Agency

12-12209

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