March is fraud prevention month, and with tax season underway, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) released a survey today that reveals one in five Canadians has been exposed to a tax season scam. Also noteworthy is that a majority of Canadians (54 per cent) do not know where to report these incidents. Tax season scams include phishing, identify theft, false charities and tax preparer fraud.
Canadians are being hit right in the pocketbook. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) of Canadians victimized has either lost, or knows someone who has lost, more than $1,200 to a tax season scam.
"Tax season is a prime time for con artists to take advantage of Canadians, particularly younger adults who may have less experience with tax matters," says Anthony Ariganello, president and CEO of CGA-Canada. "It is important that Canadians know how to spot the red flags and where to go to report fraud."
To help consumers recognize, avoid and report tax season scams, CGA-Canada has developed a short guide.
"The guide provides examples of scams, what to look for, and tips on what you can do," says Lorraine Pitt, vice president of Public Affairs at CGA-Canada. "Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to fraud. Prevention is the key to protecting yourself, your relatives and your friends from scams that can drain you of both time and money."
CGA-Canada is a member of the Fraud Prevention Forum led by the Competition Bureau. For more information on the survey or to download the CGA-Canada guide, visit: www.cga.org/canada/fraud
Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada serves 75,000 Certified General Accountants and students in Canada and nearly 100 countries. Respected accounting and financial management professionals, CGAs work in industry, finance, government and public practice. CGA-Canada establishes the designation's certification requirements and professional standards, offers professional development, conducts research and advocacy, and represents CGAs nationally and internationally.