It seems that despite operations to aggressively address the immigration scam and CRA scam that are victimizing Canadians, prevalence continues to rise up in numbers.
Warnings Are Being Sent Out
As of today, police are still getting reports from affected residents stating that they have received phone calls from fraudulent individuals posing as legitimate government officials from various federal agencies. The usual agencies that scammers claim they are from are CIC or Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Service Canada, and CRA.
The Fraud Bureau of Peel Regional Police’s investigators urge residents to be extra vigilant and be suspicious of phone calls that claim to be from the said agencies.
How the Scams Work
For fraudulent callers that claim they are from CRA, they usually call and say that the call’s receiver has outstanding taxes owed to the government that were uncovered after a recent tax audit. If the caller claims to be from immigration, the usual lie they present is that the call’s receiver have outstanding fees that need to be collected due to incorrect or incomplete information provided on their application.
Victims report feeling rattled after phone calls because the fraudulent individuals often make threats that non-compliance through non immediate will result to an arrest.
The caller typically provides very specific payment instructions to the victims. The usual modes of payment are Money Gram transfers, Western Union, bank transfers, iTunes, use of STEAM cards, or buying prepaid credit cards.
One worrying detail is that in some cases, the victim is picked up from his or her residence by a taxi sent by the fraudsters to ensure fast payments via financial institutions or Western Union. In some instances, victims were herded to directly transfer funds overseas.
How to Avoid These Types of Fraud
The police advise that anyone who has been defrauded should report to the police as soon as what happened was realized by the victim. The police also wish the public to take note of the following anti-fraud information:
- Real Canadian Government Officials will not contact you directly and make you pay them money to secure your Canadian Status.
- The Canadian Government will not make you wire payments to another country and do not accept the following modes of payment: Prepaid Credit Cards, Money Gram or Western Union, STEAM cards, or iTunes.
- It is best to verify the truth through the concerned agency when you receive a call and note that call displays can be manipulated through Caller ID spoofing (making you think that the call is coming from the agency).
- To verify information, do not use the number provided by the suspected fraudster to call back. Call the official numbers listed on the Government of Canada’s official website.
- Educate yourself against scams like these by visiting antifraudcentre.ca, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.