Newcomers to Canada are frequently the victims of an elaborate phone scam being carried out from someone claiming to be Citizenship and Immigration Canada demanding payment of a $2,500 fine.
Typically, callers claim that a targeted victim failed to file paperwork with a foreign visa office and that an outstanding fine needs to be paid. Failure to pay could result in deportation from Canada.
The authenticity of the caller appears legitimate as the call display screen usually identifies the caller as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Toronto Police said they receive complaints every day about similar scams, usually involving a fraudster posing as a government employee. The calls carry a false sense of authority and are specifically targeting immigrants.
The department has issued several public service alerts this year warning new immigrants to be wary of these types of calls. Staff at CIC never accept fine payments over the phone by pre-paid credit cards or private money transfers.
Given the influx of Syrian refugees arriving now and in the coming weeks, it is important that people become aware of this scam.
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