Over the past year, the number of Canadian Revenue Services (CRS) scams has been on the rise, taking advantage of those who hoped to make a new life in Canada.
Ariane Ntagemgwa is just one of these victims. Ariane is a refugee who came to Canada and was studying to become a nurse. This year she received a call from someone claiming to be from the CRS.
They said that she owed money to the Canadian government and that if she did not pay she would be thrown in jail, unless she made payments to the caller.
In panic, Ariane bought iTunes gift vouchers and then proceeded to pay the speaker CAD$2,700 using funds from her student loan. Money that she will never see again.
Ariane is just one of 25 people who have fallen prey to one of the newest Canadian immigration scam this month.
A reported CAD$88,330 has been stolen this month. Though it is likely that there are many more victims that have not yet come forward.
Be on the Lookout For Canadian Immigration Scams
The typical thing to expect from the latest Canadian immigration scams is pre-recorded messages, stating that you are being charged with something or another by a person claiming to be from the CRS.
Next, they will insist that you contact them immediately or face jail time. If you do call them back, they will forcefully keep you on the phone and use scare tactics. This is done to make you panic and so you don’t have time to call others to ask their advice.
These scammers will then tell you to make a payment using either iTune gift cards or Cryptocurrency, like bitcoin. They say that you can pay a reduced fee if you solve the issue as soon as possible.
After they get as much money from you as possible, you will never hear from them again.
The province that has been especially hit hard by these Canadian immigration scams is Ottawa. Overall, more than 60,000 Canadians have reported getting similar calls over the course of the year.
Scammers Are Smart
Not only do they target people who are vulnerable, like refugees fearing that their immigration status may be revoked, these scam artists also go after new arrivals and the elderly. Those who do not yet know the process and will not question the scammers.
Most of these online scams are done from countries outside of Canada, making it extremely difficult to track down these thieves. Not only that, but these scam artists are constantly improving their skills and adding new technology to help them get away with their crimes.
One of the more popular technologies is a program that stops you from hanging up on the caller, forcing you to stay on the line.
There are also some reports of Canadian immigration scammers posing as victim’s accountants to help make these scam seem more legitimate.
Report Immigration Fraud
You can report Canadian immigration on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.
Keep track of all the messages or calls between you and the scammer to help with your fraud report. If you are unsure about anything said to you over the phone, hang up and confirm what someone has said on official websites.
The best way to avoid Canadian immigration scams is to keep yourself informed. Do research about companies, contact people via phone calls or emails. No legal company will pressure you into making a decision, which is why we believe in finding the right immigration company for you.
Here is a listed of trusted Canadian immigration companies you can apply with. Check them out to find the right fit for your immigration needs.