Scam Alert - Phone calls targeting international students

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released a notice of a re-emerging scam targeting international students. Across various Canadian cities, international students have recently reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be employees of IRCC. The caller tells the student that to avoid deportation, they must send prepaid credit and gift cards, money wires or e-transfers as payment to avoid arrest or deportation. IRCC would never ask you to do this. As far as we know Waterloo students have not been targeted but, we encourage students to be aware.

What you need to know: 

  • IRCC wants international students to know that these phone calls are a scam.
  • It is important not to respond to the caller or transfer any money to them.

If is further reported: 

  • It appears that the calls are coming from local phone numbers, but it is believed that the calls are coming from outside Canada.
  • The caller identifies themselves as an IRCC officer and tells the student that they are subject to an immigration investigation, or that they have been charged with a crime in their home country. The student is told to provide personal/financial information or send payment, or face deportation if they do not.

What to do: 

  • It is important not to respond to the caller or transfer any money to them.
  • Be aware that IRCC will never contact you in person, online, or by telephone to collect fees or fines and say it’s to avoid deportation or face other consequences.
  • Remember that if someone posing as an immigration official threatens to arrest or deport you, to suspend your account if you don’t pay money or give your personal information, or tells you that your visa or immigration status is in jeopardy, it is a scam.
  • Learn how to protect yourself against immigration scams by visiting the IRCC website.