I just received a call from the 613 area code. I didn’t recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail. It was a message from the Canada Revenue Agency asking for a call back from me or my lawyer. So I called! The guy just overwhelmed me with information, like his name, telling me that he was an officer with the CRA, his badge number (which almost made me laugh), and then all kinds of other stuff, none of which I can recall. He finally asked for my name. I asked what this was about. He said that once I gave my name, he’d pull up my file and we could get into it.

Given that I’ve never once had the Canada Revenue Agency call me to inform me of an issue, I told the guy that I was not comfortable giving him any information. The CRA always sends mail, whether postal mail or through their online service if you’ve signed up for online communications, so I was hesitant. He told me that I should have my attorney call him and he hung up.

Of course it wasn’t the Canada Revenue Agency. In fact, the CRA web site has a Fraud page, and among the examples of telephone fraud they provide, the first is the same person who called me! The script has different details but it’s definitely the same guy.

Think twice before you even give out your name over the telephone. Just because someone calls you doesn’t mean they know your personal information. Don’t help them gather information about you!