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The CRA Is Way Too Careless With the $2,000 CERB

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People are saying good things about the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and how it has been doing its job during the pandemic. The most popular benefits program is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). However, the generosity of the tax agency is to a fault.

When CERB began, the primary goal was to dispense cash to people in need as quickly as possible. There were no validation or safety controls in place. The laxity was an opening for the evil-minded, including organized crime, to take advantage.

Falling into the wrong hands

The CRA sounds the alarm now that swindlers and identity thieves are preying on hapless senior citizens. Organized crime is infiltrating senior homes and residences to get names and use them to file for CERB claims.

The CRA has tagged numerous potential fraudulent applications and reported them to Parliament. Criminal activities are destroying the integrity of the program and are defrauding the federal government.

Harsh penalties

Joint operations with local police are underway, as the CRA continues to receive leads on suspected fraud. Meanwhile, members of the House of Commons have yet to agree on a bill that would impose fines and jail time on the guilty parties.

The concern of opposition parties is that claimants who have mistakenly applied for CERB face stiff fines, too. They need assurances the bill will target only those with criminal intent and are deliberately conning the CRA.

CERB fraudsters should beware. The CRA is recommending harsh penalties for offenders and seeking criminal sanctions. Stiff fines and jail time will deter the scammers from operating at scale. The tax agency will not agree to a mere repayment of the CERB.

The wave of the future

On the investment front, Absolute Software (TSX:ABT) is getting due recognition. This $551.56 million company has a platform that can strengthen sensitive data and endpoint device protections in remote or hybrid work environments.

COVID-19 is changing the work environment and activating the need for scalable security solutions. Remote work is the new core element of operating models. More companies and organizations will have remote operations. Thus, there is a greater need to protect its users, devices, and data, regardless of where they are.

Likewise, schools would need Absolute’s platform to ensure unbreakable visibility and intelligent management of thousands of student devices. One of the largest school districts in California will soon use the Absolute Control solution.

Expect Absolute to be at the forefront of distant learning, which is also moving forward. Schools that will be implementing learn-from-home programs can maximize the technology return on investment.

The growth runway of Absolute is far and wide. You can own shares of the industry leader in Endpoint Resilience for less than $15 per share. It also pays a modest 2.51% dividend. This tech stock is one of the exciting investments you can consider in the pandemic era. The future of the business is very bright.

Stop the mischief

The CRA is dead serious in putting a stop to fraudulent CERB claims. Meanwhile, Absolute Software stock is attracting investors because of its data security solutions.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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