Protect yourself from Scamsadmin2018-11-10T00:57:42+00:00
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SCAMS AND FRAUD
Immigrants need to know how to protect themselves from fraud and scams in Canada. Unfortunately, newcomers often become the victims of fraud because they are not familiar with Canadian systems and they often have trouble understanding English. Here is what you need to know to keep your money and family safe.
1. Fake Calls from the Government
A common scam targeting new immigrants is a phone call from somebody who says they are a government official. The person will say they are from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and they are calling because you have not filed/failed to file some paperwork, and you owe government fees. They will tell you that you will lose your immigration status and will be deported or will have to go to court if you don’t pay immediately. They will threaten you and your family and will make you feel scared. They will say things like ‘you have to make a decision’ to pressure you.
This is a scam! IRCC will NEVER contact you by phone to collect fees/fines, they will never be aggressive or threaten you, they will never ask for your personal information, like a number of your bank account and they will never send police to arrest you for unpaid fines.
What to do: hang up.
2. Fake calls from CRA about Taxes
This is a very similar scam but this time you get a call from somebody who says they are from CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) and you owe taxes. They tell you if you don’t pay taxes, the police will come and arrest you. Don’t trust them. Tell them you will contact CRA yourself and hang up.
3. Prize Winner Scams
You get a call from somebody who says you won a lottery, a large sum of money, a trip, etc. and you need to provide your personal information. Don’t tell them anything about yourself – hang up.
Sometimes you could get a text message that says you won the prize. NEVER TEXT BACK, not even one word – they will charge you money! Delete that message.
4. Fake Emails from your Bank and Fake Bank Websites
You get an email that looks like it is from your bank. The email says to follow and click a link to go to the bank website. DO NOT CLICK on the link – it will take you to a fake website that looks exactly like your bank website. Fake websites are really easy to make.
What to do: delete the email. Never click on the link. Know the correct website address and only use that if you do online banking.
5. Fake Computer Virus
You could get a call from somebody who says your computer has been infected by virus and they can fix it if you provide your password / access to computer. It’s a scam, so hang up.
6. Fake Job Offers
One such scam is when a company tells you: ‘Take our course and we guarantee you a job after you complete it.” NEVER PAY MONEY ON THE PROMISE OF A JOB. Usually this company will tell you that you didn’t pass the training, or you are too old for the job, or that the money you paid is only for the half of the training and now you need to pay more, etc.
7. Rent Scams
Some dishonest landlord will ask you to pay cash instead of by cheque and then will pretend like you never gave them any money. They could take your cash for two-three months and then suddenly take you to a court claiming you didn’t pay them rent. If you don’t have any proof, you will have to pay again! Whenever you’re making any payment, ASK FOR A WRITTEN RECEIPT.
8. Loans Scam (up-front fees)
You have a bad credit or no credit but a company guarantees you a loan if you pay them an up-front fee. You send them the money but they never give you a loan and you don’t get your money back.
9. Fake Charity
A fake charity calls you to ask for money or to say thank you for the money you never agreed to pay. The name might sound similar to a real charity but it is usually fake. These types of calls often happen after earthquakes and other natural disasters. Newcomers may be targeted if they are from the country where disaster happened. Never say ‘yes’ to these people. Hang up.
10. Low-fee or Free trial offer Scams
If you subscribe to a service that is ‘free’ or ‘low-fee’ for a period of time, after that trial period ends (e.g. two months) you will have to pay the full price which is usually very high. Now that the company has your credit card number, they will keep charging you even if you call them and ask to cancel.
What to do: be careful with these offers. If you have to, cancel your credit card.
11. Moving Fraud
A moving company you hired refuses to unload the truck with your things in it until you pay them more money.
What to do: hire a reputable company by reading reviews and doing your research or ask somebody you know to recommend a good company.
There are many other types of fraud in Canada – scams that target businesses, individuals, elderly people, homeowners, single people, etc. Our advice: take time to think and read. Do not let people rush or pressure you into anything.