Phone scam targets gullible new Canadians

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Toronto, January 8 (CINEWS): You would think that following so many public warnings put out, new Canadians would stop falling for the immigration scam. But it is still happening because those behind it are getting craftier and are getting really good at separating new Canadians from their money. The 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.
She received a call from someone claiming to be an immigration official demanding payment of a $2,500 fine.
The RCMP now have an example phone call based on the kinds of questions and threats they’ve heard about from victims who have reported the scam to investigators.
Investigators say the fraudster normally identifies themselves with an anglophone name, which contrasts their strong accent.
The caller then tells the victim something has changed with their immigration and requires additional fees.
The imposter then begins to ask for personal information like the target’s full name, address, the number of people in their home, their occupation, and their passport number.
In the example, the scammer claims the victim did not disclose something about their work situation and tells them they owe $12,000.
The victim questions the claim, and then police say the imposter generally gets irritated and starts to aggressively threaten the target.
Investigators say those threats could include them being arrested, deported, and separated from children.
The fraudster then tries to get their target to immediately go to a money transferring service like Western Union or MoneyGram.
If the victim questions the caller’s legitimacy more threats could follow, and if they’re not scared into doing what the fraudster says, police say the fraudster usually hangs up.
The RCMP says the scam has been used across the country and has affected men and women of different ages and cultural backgrounds.
Police urge anyone who has received such a call, or knows someone who has to report it.
The RCMP also advises that potential victims follow the below steps if they suspect they’re receiving an immigration scam call:
• If they have call display, note the number and where the call came from
• Hang up
• Look up the real number for the government agency
• Call that number too see if the situation is legitimate
• Report the call to police

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