Are you protected? Four tips for fraud prevention this tax season

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It's no coincidence Fraud Prevention Month and tax season both take place in March. As Canadians file their taxes this spring, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre warns us to be wary of financial services and tax scams.

For example, you might remember from previous years, taxpayers received emails and phone calls from fraudsters impersonating CRA employees. This is something to watch out for again this year. You can browse the official scams index here.

We've gathered our top tips for protecting your finances and ensuring this tax season is a little less stressful.

1. Shred sensitive information

Shred any documents that include your financial information, including receipts.

2. Be alert

Remember that CRA, credit unions, or any other financial or government institution will never ask for your personal information, such as account numbers, your PIN, or online banking passwords by phone, text message, through email, or by clicking a link. If you're unsure about a phone call or an email, we recommend directly reaching out to your credit union or to CRA immediately.

3. Protect your credentials

Consider changing your PIN, passwords, or security questions regularly and never share it with anyone. Be sure to never share your credit card or other financial information by email, too.

4. Watch your statements and be aware of billing cycles

Review your statements online carefully and frequently and keep an eye out for any transactions that are out of the ordinary. Contact your credit union immediately if you see anything suspicious.

Fraud impacts thousands of Canadians every single year--and tax season is an important time to be aware of the risks and take extra steps to protect yourself and personal information.