Telephone scammers who have been targeting immigrants are using fake phone numbers to avoid detection, but some of those numbers belong to very real, and legitimate organizations. 

Lilia Shakir says her family has been called three times by someone claiming to be an official in Ottawa. 

The caller claims there is a problem with someone's immigration application and that they have to pay a fine. 

"They said this is police from Ottawa, police department from Ottawa," Shakir told CBC News. "They said it's regarding your application for immigration."

Shakir has been here for 12 years. The caller hung when she told him she is a permanent resident.

But when she called the number back, she got the Canadian Police College in Ottawa.

A recorded message acknowledged that the calls appeared to be coming from the college, as does a notice on the college's website

RCMP spokeswoman Sgt.Penny Hermann says scammers are "spoofing" the phone numbers of other, official organizations. 

"It could be the Canada Revenue Agency, it could be the RCMP, it could be anything really — any agency," she said. 

Authorities say such calls should be referred to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre and your local police department.