New immigrants are losing thousands of dollars to fraudsters from Ontario, Edmonton police said on Friday.
The scam starts with a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency who speaks to the victim in Hindi or Punjabi.
“Letting them know that they haven't filed their income taxes properly and they owe Canada Revenue Agency money,” Det. Mo Banga said.
The caller then threatens the victims with jail or deportation if they don’t pay up.
They are instructed to buy Pay Power VISA gift cards and provide the security codes.
In one case last month, a man was contacted by someone claiming to be from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service who said he and his wife were under investigation for not registering as immigrants.
He eventually paid $34,400.
Banga says police know about 40 victims but believe there are more out there
“A lot of them they're not coming out for the fear of embarrassment among their friends and whatnot,” he said.
Banga says anyone who gets this type of call should ask for details and then call the agency back to confirm the request.
People should also call police, he said.