March 20, 2013 08:00 ET

One in Five Canadians Exposed to Tax Season Scams

CGA-Canada survey reveals a majority of Canadians don't know where to report fraud

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA and OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 20, 2013) - 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, identity 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:


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.

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Note to editors: These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between February 6 to 12, on behalf of CGA-Canada. For this survey, a sample of 2,009 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points had all Canadians adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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