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.

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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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

noleen July 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Good day I’m a south African citizen and have been getting phone calls from a call centre(sounds like one hearing from the background) if I’m interested immigrating to Canada.I have been getting these phonecalls since beginning of the year.When they call,it will put me on hold and speak about immigrating to Canada and if I’m interested I shud press an extention number which is normally 1 for me to speak to a consultant.Is this legit?The tel no starts with 1(+264) or 1 (924) I think and has an American accent on the background which is automatic electronic voice before I’m asked to speak to a consultant.

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John Stifler July 20, 2015 at 4:09 am

I think it’s a fake number, dude. They usually use spoofing technique to make a phone number that appear seems like a legit number. Just for suggestion, maybe you can check the number online at some complaint board sites like http://whycall.me every time you receive a suspicious call. Or simply Google it, and I believe you will know the truth about those numbers.

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