Protect yourself from scams 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Phone, text message, and web-based scams are on the rise in Canada

Fraudsters invent new schemes and strategies daily. It is vital that students learn how to identify illegitimate claims to protect themselves. 

A recent scam involves thieves using automated phone messages in Mandarin to impersonate Chinese officials. These calls claim the recipient is linked to crimes in China. Using high-pressure techniques, fraudsters share false threats against the victim’s family, instruct them to move to a second location, demand large sums of cash, etc.  

Scammers use fear to manipulate and confuse us. If you receive a call from an unfamiliar number let it go to voicemail. If someone you do not know insists they are trying to help you but uses intimidation or threats, it is a scam.

Remember: even if a caller tells you to act quickly, it’s important to take your time and assess the situation carefully to avoid being scammed.  

If you receive a threatening call, text, or email, follow these steps: 

  • Stay calm and do not give out personal or financial information.  

  • Hang up, even if the caller tells you not to. 

  • Write down everything you remember from the call (e.g., phone number, badge number, where they are calling from, details of the request, etc.) 

  • Call the Waterloo Regional Police Service non-emergency line to discuss the call with an officer. 

  • File a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They take these reports and track trends around the country. Filing a report may protect other members of our community. 


If you suspect you may be the victim of a scam, it is important to come forward. There are resources available to support you, and reporting will not have an impact on your academic standing with Waterloo or your Canadian visa.  

If you suspect you may be the victim of a scam, contact: 

If you need support, counselling services are available.  

Visit the Government of Canada website to learn about scams targeting newcomers to Canada. 

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