Ann Welsh, International Student Support Specialist
We have received reports of students who have received calls purportedly from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), or relevant Canadian High Commissions threatening arrest or deportation and demanding that students immediately hire an immigration lawyer and directing them to transfer funds. Other students have reported receiving similar calls from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) insisting that they owe money for a tax debt and threatening arrest. Scam calls posing as the CRA tend to increase during tax season.
These calls are a SCAM and you should NOT RESPOND TO THE CALLER OR TRANSFER FUNDS. While the callers can seem legitimate, may use spoof phone numbers that appear to be coming from a government department and often use scare tactics to convince you to take immediate action, it is important to remember that these calls are organized fraud scams. DO NOT TRANSFER FUNDS.
The Government of Canada will NEVER contact you in person, online, or by telephone to collect fees or fines to avoid deportation or other consequences. They will never use aggressive or threatening language or tone of voice.
“IRCC reminds everyone 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.”
If you receive a call like this, HANG UP and report it to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you are unsure if you should be concerned, please contact your International Relations team immediately. Do not respond to the caller or transfer funds. Also be wary of emails that request personal or financial information.
For more information on how to protect yourself from fraud or recognize these scams, please see the relevant links below. You can also contact International Relations for more information.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- Protect yourself from Fraud (Internet, email, telephone Scams)
- What kinds of fraud should newcomers to Canada be aware of?
- “I have received threats from someone who says they are from the immigration department. Is it a scam?”
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: