With tax filing season just around the corner, Hawkesbury Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) wish to remind residents of frauds to look out for and precautions to prevent them.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) expects taxpayers to submit their income tax returns by April 30. As this date approaches, Hawkesbury officers have seen a rise in CRA scams in the east region.

These scams involve recipients receiving a text message with a hyperlink that opens a fake CRA website. This website then prompts the user to pick their financial institution and enter confidential banking information. The information is then recorded by the scammer and used for fraudulent purposes.

Here is some important information to help you stay safe this tax season:

–       The CRA does not use text messages or instant messaging to start conversations about your taxes.

–       The CRA does not use aggressive language or threats when communicating with you over the phone.

–       The CRA will not email you a link asking for personal or financial details, or a link to access your refund.

–       The CRA does not demand immediate payment through e-transfer, pre-paid credit cards, or Bitcoin.

If you do fall victim to a fraud or know someone who has, individuals are urged to contact their local police service 1-888-310-1122 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm

For more fraud facts and figures and a downloadable booklet (PDF), visit The Competition Bureau of Canada website at https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/home , or by visiting http://www.opp.ca

You may also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- 8477, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000. All tips are anonymous and you will not have to attend court. Visit www.CrimeStoppers.ca.