Jan. 27, 2020 – CRA scam targets university communities

I am writing to advice you of an email scam circulating from what appears to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This current scam is targeting student, faculty and staff at universities across the country. It states that a tax credit is owing to recipient and requests a response in order to receive the refund.

Given that we are in the midst of tax season, more of this type of activity may appear in the coming weeks and months. While the Information Security team and your local IT are working together to reduce the amount of scam emails you receive, it’s recommended that everyone remain vigilant when dealing with electronic communications.

If you are concerned that you may have shared your personal information (e.g., social insurance number (SIN) or credit card number) with a scammer, the CRA advises you contact the police. If your SIN has been stolen, you should also contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. Visit their website for more information: www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin.html.

If you are concerned that you have shared banking information, please contact your bank.

What to do if you suspect a phishing attempt/attack…

  • If you suspect your password may have been compromised, immediately change it.
  • If you receive a phishing message(s) and are using U of T Office 365/UTMail+, please report it using the “report message” function in your inbox. Otherwise, please report it to: report.phishing@utoronto.ca
  • When in doubt about the legitimacy of an email, call or ask the sender in person to confirm if they sent the email.
  • If you opened an attachment that was sent in a phishing email, reach out to your local IT service desk immediately.

Thank you for your support as we work together to keep everyone safe and secure online.

Isaac Straley
Chief Information Security Officer
University of Toronto