Student scammed for $3.5K
Photo: Colin Dacre
An international student in Kelowna has been scammed out of $3,500.
RCMP say they received a report on Oct. 26 that the student attending a local post-secondary school was threatened with deportation during a phone call.
“The caller told the student she would be deported if she did not pay $3,500 via bitcoin. The victim, unfamiliar with Canadian laws, completed the transaction without informing friends or family out of fear they would deport her,” said Const. Mike Della Paolera.
Government agencies will never ask for a payment to be made using cryptocurrency. If a payment is required, government employees do not use threats or extreme urgency like the tactics used by scammers in these types of frauds, say police.
RCMP say if a caller won’t let you off the phone or makes any types of threats if the call were to end, this is fraud and should be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and your local police.
Regardless if money is given to the scammers or not, police want the call to be reported.
To avoid telephone scams, remember that Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not:
- collect money or payments by phone or prepaid credit cards or through a private money transfer service provider (e.g. Pay Pal or MoneyGram). See how to pay your fees to find out how IRCC collects payments.
- ask you to confirm basic personal information you already provided on a form.
In some telephone scams, the caller pretends to be a police or immigration officer and tells you that you broke the law. It is probably a scam or a phishing scheme if:
- you have to pay money, or
- you need to give personal information (date of birth, passport number, bank account or credit card information, etc.), or
- you are told you will be arrested, go to jail, lose your visa or status, be deported, or have your account suspended if you don’t pay or give your personal information.
Be aware: Scammers often give a fake name and agent number to appear legitimate. If you think the caller is a scammer:
- ask for the name and number of the agent, and
- call the call centre to confirm the agent’s identity.
- If you received a suspicious call, hang up immediately and:
- call your local police if you lost money.
- report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
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