Warning over nasty telephone scam targeting expats in Canada

by Ray Clancy on July 7, 2015

Immigration and citizenship officials in Canada are warning of a particularly nasty national telephone scam where the callers threaten people with arrest and deportation.

The callers claim to be from officers from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and say they are calling to collect additional personal information and/or to ask that a fine be paid immediately to avoid deportation.


Scammers pretending to work for the CIC are threatening unsuspecting expats with arrest or deportation

In the most recent telephone scams, the caller has been attempting to scare individuals by quoting laws the individual supposedly violated and threatening them with warrants for arrest, jail time, loss of immigration status and deportation if a fine is not paid.

In other cases, the victims were asked to confirm or provide additional personal information such as their date of birth, passport number, Social Insurance Number (SIN), landing date, credit card numbers or bank account information.

‘CIC has effective practices in place to protect the confidentiality of client information. CIC does not contact clients over the telephone for the purpose of collecting fines to avoid deportation,’ said a CIC spokesman.

‘CIC officials also never ask for payments to be made by purchasing pre-paid credit cards or through a private money transfer service provider. CIC officers encourage clients to pay their fees through their bank services or by using the payment option available on CIC’s Web site,’ he explained.

‘If CIC clients have doubts about the legitimacy of a call, they are encouraged to ask for the name of the agent and then call the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 to confirm that the call is genuine,’ he added.

Anyone who receives a threatening call is also advised to hang up immediately, to contact their local police, and report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by telephone at 1-888-495-8501 or through their website.

More information on scams, to report deceptive telephone calls, or if personal or financial information has been unwittingly provided, people can look at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website.

CIC also provides tips on its website on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.


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