Phishing Scams and Identity Theft
What is phishing?
Phishing is a criminal activity in which scammers use various means to trick you into giving out personal information, sometimes going so far as to recreate a logo, web page, email or official document. The consequences can be very costly, as scammers can use your name, without your knowledge, in dealings with financial institutions and government departments and bodies.
Despite our best efforts, scammers sometimes try to take advantage of our relationship of trust with taxpayers. Posing as a Revenu Québec employee, they may contact you by phone, email, text or mail and attempt to gather personal information from you.
Your security is our priority
The confidentiality of your personal information is our priority, which is why we take measures to ensure that the means we use to communicate with you are secure.
Recognizing a scam
If you receive an email, text, phone call or letter that claims to be from Revenu Québec and seems suspicious to you, keep in mind the following:
- We never ask for the following personal information by email or text:
- the amount from line 199 of your income tax return
- your date of birth
- a notice of assessment number
- a notice of determination number
- your social insurance number
- your health insurance number
- your driver's licence number
- your passport number
- your credit or debit card numbers
- a password
- We never mention confidential information in a phone message.
- We never share your personal information with anyone without making sure that they are authorized to receive it.
How we communicate with you
- To get feedback from our clients, we regularly conduct surveys or hire third-party firms to conduct them. You can rest assured that:
- no information from our data banks is sent to the firms;
- no one can ask for tax information on our behalf; and
- we decide what the firms can do with the information they collect.
- We may send you the following, but only if you ask us to:
- a temporary access code by text or automated call if you are signing in to My Account via a Sign-In Partner;
- a verification code by email, text or automated call if you are using clicSÉQUR − Citoyens to sign in to My Account;
- a URL to paste into your web browser to access the Order Prefilled TP-64.3-V Forms online service (available in French only), where you can download prefilled forms.
- We send automated emails to notify you when there is a message for you in My Account. These emails do not contain any personal information.
- We occasionally send documents and information through a secure email service. This service safeguards communications between senders and receivers in order to protect an email's confidential nature.
- We use Cyberimpact, a Canadian communications platform, to manage our notification lists and send emails each time we:
- issue a press release;
- publish a tax news article;
- post a job opening;
- publish news about teaching materials for the Financial Education Program for secondary students.
- We may call you on behalf of the Québec government. If you missed the call, you can safely dial the number in the message we left.
The numbers listed below are ours and can be trusted. Note, however, that this is not an exhaustive list of the phone numbers we may use:
- 1 866 242-4482
- 1 866 832-6816
- 1 888 830-7747
- 1 877 422-7935
- 1 877 422-7924
- 1 888 890-4042
How you can protect yourself
To keep your information confidential, follow our security recommendations on the Personal Information and Rules pages.
- If you have a doubt about the sender of an email or text, do not give them any information.
- Always check the identity of the person requesting information and that the request is legitimate, even if the situation seems urgent.
- When in doubt, ask for the person's phone number to call back. This will give you time to check.
- Never assume you can trust a number just because it is the number of a company you know or the area code is the same as yours. It may be a trick to gain your trust.
- If you think a scammer has left a message in your voicemail, do not call back.
- If you think a scammer has sent you a fraudulent email or text, do not click on the link or attachment or reply. By doing nothing, you avoid confirming that your email address or phone number is valid.
- Do not delete any suspicious messages. Contact us instead.
- To find out whether we actually use the kind of transaction the person is proposing, click Payment Options.
- Do not use the phone numbers, email addresses or websites shown in a suspicious communication. Find the organization's contact information yourself.
- Do not disclose any of your access codes or passwords to someone you do not know. If you want to grant an authorization or a power of attorney to a designated person, click Transmitting Confidential Information to Your Representative.
Questions to ask yourself when in doubt
If you are unsure about something you received from us, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I expecting a refund or some other sum of money from Revenu Québec (for example, an income tax or consumption tax refund, a support payment, an amount related to unclaimed property)?
- Does the situation sound too good to be true?
- Do I owe Revenu Québec any money? Do I owe money under a program administered by Revenu Québec (for example, the support payment collection program)?
- Is the person asking for information that Revenu Québec already has on file?
- Have I given Revenu Québec or my professional representative my email address? If not, how did this person get it?
- Am I absolutely confident as to the identity of the person asking me for personal information?
- Did I apply for advance payments of a tax credit?
- Am I expecting a notice of assessment or determination?
- Did I agree that I would receive all Revenu Québec communications in my My Account inbox?
If you still think the communication you received is suspicious after answering these questions, do not reply, but contact us instead.
What should you do if you receive a suspicious communication?
If you receive a suspicious communication, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and contact us.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is the central repository in Canada for fraud data, information and documentation. It exists to prevent fraudulent activity and to provide assistance to victims of fraud.
What should you do in case of fraud or identity theft?
If there are signs that you have been the victim of identity theft or you think that you were targeted by a scammer, contact us. We must be informed of this situation so we can take extra steps to protect your personal information.
For more information, see the Identity Theft in Brief! checklist on the Commission d'accès à l'information website.