Thieves are targeting international students in Canada by pretending to be immigration officers to extort money from them, the Canadian government warned in a special alert on Dec 15.
According to Pole Star, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada warned students to not be fooled by the scheme, where thieves call international students disguising themselves as fake immigration agents and telling the student that they will soon be arrested if they do not do as they say.
Some students even transferred thousands of dollars to the thieves.
New scam targets international students | Polestar Student Immigration https://t.co/X0FQNIsh7z
— Meritrusts Immigration Consulting (@meritrusts) December 29, 2017
“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,” reads the alert posted on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
“(Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) will never contact you in person, online, or by telephone to collect fees or fines to avoid deportation or other consequences.”
Last November, three students from China, believed to have fallen victim to a kidnapping scam, were found safe by the Toronto police after disappearing for more than a week, CBC reported. The students had received threatening phone calls before going into hiding, according to authorities.
“They’re being told they need to go into hiding, not to use their cellphones, not to contact their families and not to use any form of social media or the internet,” said Constable Craig Brister.
The scammer would then contact the victims’ families later to demand a large ransom in order to release their kidnapped child.
All the students were eventually found safe.