This year, the Canadian government held the 14th annual Fraud Prevention Month in March. According to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), Ahmed Hussen, the campaign aims to increase education and awareness to encourage Canadians to recognize and report fraud. The IRCC took a number of steps to inform the public of how to recognize scams and fraudulent websites. Despite the government’s efforts to spread information on this issue, a number of Canadian citizens fell victim to a scam circulating through the Ottawa and London area in April 2018.
The Government of Canada issued a notice about a scam that is circulating and targeting international students. According to a statement posted to the newsroom, international students have reported receiving phone calls from individuals posing as employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). These callers threaten the students with deportation if they do not offer payment through gift cards, money wires, or e-transfers.
What should I look out for?
- These callers appear to have local phone numbers, but they are actually coming from outside of Canada.
- The caller will always demand some form of payment (i.e prepaid credit cards, gift cards, money wires, e-transfers, etc.).
The IRCC will never:
- Contact you in person, online, or by telephone threatening you with deportation if you do not pay fees or fines
- Ask you to deposit money into a personal bank account
- Ask you to transfer money through private money transfer service
- Threaten you
- Offer special deals to people who want to immigrate
- Ask you to confirm basic personal information that you already gave on an application form (e.g. birth date, passport number, etc.)
What should I do if I receive one of these phone calls?
If you answer the phone to one of these calls, do NOT transfer any money to the caller. If the call seems suspicious, ask for the name and number of the agent and phone the IRCC Client Support Centre to verify the agent’s identity. If you fell victim to one of these scams and lost money as a result, contact your local police station to report the incident. You can also contact the Canadian Air-Fraud Centre.
At Calver and Associates, we strive to help you overcome any obstacles to the immigration process. To learn more about Ontario Immigration Programs, visit our immigration program page. To find out how we can help you, contact us.
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Calver and Associates Immigration Services
21 Simcoe St S Suite 110, Oshawa, ON L1H 4G1