The following is now available on the CRA Web site:
Ottawa, Ontario, March 19, 2008… In keeping with the spirit of Fraud Prevention Month, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is reminding the public that winners of sweepstakes and lotteries in Canada do not have to pay fees and taxes in order to claim their prizes.
The CRA has issued warnings in the past about scams in which individuals are informed they have won a large sum of money in a lottery or sweepstakes, usually from a foreign country. The individual is usually contacted by a legitimate-sounding financial institution claiming that it has a bank draft from a foreign sweepstakes company that is payable to him or her. The individual is told that, in order to receive the prize, they must first pay part of the taxes allegedly owed on the prize amount.
No taxes or fees of any kind have to be paid on lottery or sweepstakes winnings in Canada. Any unsolicited email, letter or telephone call telling you otherwise is a scam.
Visit http://www.cra.gc.ca/myths for more information on protecting yourself from this and other types of fraud.
March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and around the world. Visit http://www.phonebusters.com to learn more about the dangers of fraud, and how you can recognize it, report it, and stop it.
SOURCE: CRA Newsroom