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Telephone Scams that each Immigrant should identify


Immigrants should be aware of telephone scams common in Canada. Newcomers are usually the target of phone scammers here. They aren’t knowledgeable enough about how things work here. For a gullible person, it would be quite convincing. If you suspect that a phone call that you received was from a phone scammer, you may want to use a reverse phone lookup tool to try and identify your caller. So, here are some scam calls that everyone should be on alert:

Immigration Scam Calls

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is warning of an ongoing phone scam by people posing as immigration officials who demand additional fees and sometimes threaten the children of victims.

According to CBC news, last month, a Toronto woman almost became the victim of the scam. She received a call from someone claiming to be an immigration official demanding payment of a $2,500 fine. They began asking for personal information like full name, address, the number of people in the home, occupation, and passport number. Then they will tell stories that something has changed with their immigration case and additional fees are required. If you question their claim, they usually get irritated and aggressively threaten of being arrested, deported and separated from children. Then they will try to direct you to immediately go to a money transferring service like the Western Union or MoneyGram. If you question their legitimacy more threats could follow and they usually hang up.

The RCMP says this scam has been used across the country and has affected men and women of different ages and cultural backgrounds. They recommend following these steps if you receive this type of calls:

  1. If they have caller id, note the number and where the call came from
  2. Hang up
  3. Look up the real number for the government agency
  4. Call that number to see if the situation is legitimate
  5. Report the call to police

CRA Scam calls

The police are warning residents to be aware of a telephone scam targeting taxpayers. Fraudsters claiming to be from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are calling and pressuring them to hand over money.

The telephone scam goes like this: A call claiming from CRA will usually leave an automated message asking to call back right away. They will tell stories like your income tax had been audited and that you owed money. The message will tell you that if you didn’t return the call, you have to pay a large penalty.  If you return the call they are usually aggressive and asking you some personal information like a passport number or SIN.

According to the CRA, these types of scams are widespread and common in Canada. The CRA has several examples of real scams, including those over text message, telephone and email.  If residents receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the CRA asking for money, the CRA recommends calling the agency back to confirm or visiting your My Account online. The agency never asks people to give personal information.

Residents can report phone scams by contacting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501 or reporting it to your local police.

“When in doubt, shout!” Ask and confirm first. Don’t hand any personal information especially your SIN number. Don’t immediately hand money.


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