Scammers targeting foreign nationals

23 Mar 16

CANADA

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Foreign nationals in Canada have been contacted by scammers posing as immigration officials.

What does the change mean? Foreign employees should be aware that Canadian immigration authorities never contact individuals by phone for purposes of collecting fines to avoid deportation and never ask for payment via money transfers or pre-paid credit cards.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals in Canada.
  • Business impact: Companies should warn foreign employees about the scams and note that in some cases the scammers may appear legitimate because they may possess identifying information about the employee.
  • Next steps: Individuals may find more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud on the CIC’s webpage.

Background: Similar scams have been reported around the world in recent years. In the current iteration, phone callers posing as Canadian immigration police tell foreign nationals that they have failed to provide certain information or personal ID numbers when they entered Canada. The callers then threaten the foreign nationals with deportation and revocation of their passport unless they pay a fine via money transfer.

BAL Analysis: Foreign employees and family members are reminded about ongoing scams and are cautioned not to give personal information or pay immigration fees by phone. Canadian immigration authorities warned about a similar scam in June, advising that anyone receiving such calls hang up immediately and report the incident to local police and the Anti-Fraud Centre.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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