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Immigrant Frauds

In 2019 the Edmonton Police Service received 17 reports of Immigrant Scams, of which 16 victims reported an overall loss of $ 730,250.31 CAD.

Types of Payment  Money Lost (CAD)
Bank Drafts $4,000
Bitcoin $61,630
e-Transfer $631,660.31
Google Play Cards  $8,100
Moneygram $4,660
Steam Wallet Card $200
Wire Transfer $20,000
Total Lost
$730,250.31


Scam Details

Contact was made through the following ways:

  • In person
  • Online – Facebook, Instagram
  • Skype
  • Telephone
  • WhatsApp

 

Method of scamming:

  • Victim was advised her husband had been arrested and was going to be deported if she did not pay.
  • Victim receive a phone call stating to be a foreign embassy, but the number displayed was the victim’s husbands phone number.Victim was told that her husband had been arrested by the embassy due to the complications with his immigration status and if she wanted him to be released she would need to pay.
  • Victim received a phone call that appeared to be from her husband's phone. Was told someone had used his SIN number and to prevent him from being deported she needed to send the scammer copies of their passports.
  • Victim was contacted by an alleged border guard and told she was a suspect for many crimes in China. Victim was convinced to send skype messages everyday detailing her day and to pay money to assist them with an international issue.
  • Victim was told they had failed to file Form 160, and such was going to be arrested and deported. Phone number spoofed on call display was for Immigration, Refuges and Citizenship Canada.
  • A victim of an investment scam during which she provided a copy of her passport.The victim then received a phone call from the “Chinese Embassy” stating that someone in China had been caught at the border with her passport and now she was under investigation and could go to jail. The victim was told to buy a new iPhone and to give access to her banking information to get the issue resolved quickly.The scammer told the victim to transfer more money into the account as they were still working on her case and additional tax needed to be paid.
  • Victim wanted to get a study permit to attend university in Canada. Scammer found her through social media and said he was an immigration attorney. Victim was requested to make a payment for services.
  • Victim was called by someone saying the were from the Canadian Immigration office and they caught a male who had a fraudulent passport.Victim was accused of being involved in creating fake documents.Victim gave all personal and bank information and wired money to a bank account in Hong Kong. After money was wired, was unable to get a hold of the person again.
  • Victim got an automated call and was advised to pay fines or would be arrested.Victim gave banking information, SIN, and other personal information.
  • Victim received a call from Immigration accusing him of terrorist financing, need to clear up accusations by paying a fee.
  • Victim unknowingly paid money to scammer to arrange for family to meet with Canadian Consulate for immigration purposes.
  • Victim told SIN had been compromised and had to pay fees to fix the problem by purchasing Google Play gift cards

  

Scammers were impersonating the following agencies/governments:

  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Canadian Immigration Office
  • Canadian Immigration Visa & Citizenship Office
  • Caribbean Embassy
  • Chinese Embassy
  • Indian Embassy