Many new immigrants are susceptible to falling prey to this scam which seems to be spreading in immigrant communities across Canada.
In Abbotsford, a South Asian man has lost almost $2,000 in an immigration fee fraud and Abbotsford Police have issued a warning about the scam.
The man received a call purportedly from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The caller advised that the man was required to pay $4,280 within seven hours or he would face deportation. He was instructed to purchase pre-loaded credit cards and await a call back. The conversation between the victim and the caller took place in both English and Punjabi, said Constable Ian MacDonald.
The victim checked the caller’s number and it did appear to be associated with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. So he went to purchase some of the pre-loaded credit cards at a local business. After sharing the credit card information with the caller, a demand for the balance was made. An employee of the business where the credit cards were purchased became suspicious and contacted the Abbotsford Police Department.
APD patrol officers met with the victim and quickly determined that the man had been the victim of a scam where a spoofed telephone number had been used. The incident is still under investigation but the victim is currently out almost $2,000.
MacDonald said police want people to be aware of this scam and always be suspicious of any contact where money is to be immediately paid or transferred in order to stave off repercussions from authorities. Variations of this type of fraud are plentiful.
New immigrants who may be contacted should be wary, contact the police or call up the Immigration department to verify the call.
The trouble now is that if a person really gets a call from Immigration, they may slam down the phone thinking it could be a scam.