International students in a number of Canadian cities, including the Ontario cities of Ottawa and London, have reported receiving calls from individuals who claim to be employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
According to IRCC, the caller tells the student that they are the subject of an immigration investigation in Canada or that they’ve been charged with a crime in their home country.
The student is then instructed to provide his or her personal financial information or a payment to avoid being deported back to their home country. The caller may also request payments in the form of prepaid credit, gift cards, money wires or e-transfers.
IRCC is warning students who receive such a call to avoid transferring money or providing any personal information to the caller.
IRCC said it does not contact anyone in person, online or by telephone to collect fees or fines and say it’s to avoid deportation.
Earlier this month, Ottawa police issued a warning to the public about the scam. Even if the number appears to have a local area code, Ottawa police suspect the phone scams may be coming from overseas.
For more information on where to report scams and how to make sure an immigration or citizenship representative is authorized, visit Canada.ca/immigration-fraud.
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