British Columbia

Abbotsford police warn of immigration phone scam

Abbotsford police are warning the public about a phone fraudster who appears to be targeting the South Asian Community.

Scam appears to be aimed at South Asian population

Investigators believe the suspect is trying to gather personal information from victims by saying he is a police officer.

Abbotsford police are warning the public about a phone fraudster who appears to be targeting the South Asian community. 

Const. Ian MacDonald says the scam artist presents himself as a police officer and uses caller ID 'spoofing' to display the APD phone number.

The suspect then suggests the victim has immigration issues, and requests personal and family information — and eventually looks for payment.

"The cash could take the form of a wire transfer, it could be a breach of your credit card information, or they might even try to compel you to buy gift cards for them," MacDonald said.

MacDonald says there have been similar scams where a caller poses as a Canada Revenue Agency officer. 

"They prey on people who might be vulnerable, in the sense that they might be immigrants to Canada —  new and old — and suggests that they could be deported or they could be in trouble with Immigration Canada," MacDonald said. 

Four complaints in one day

 MacDonald says police received four complaints on Monday. 

The victim who picked up the call said a man identified himself as "Steve Miller"  and told the victim the family failed to fill out proper paper work when they immigrated to Canada several years ago. 

The fraudster also threatened deportation if the person didn't co-operate in answering questions about the names and birth dates of family members. 

Hang up

"The last thing you want to do is stay on the line, it can be upsetting especially if the person is yelling at you or is belligerent, but a person can say they are anyone, and there is little you can do to confirm their identity," MacDonald said.

Anyone with information about the most this scam should contact the APD at 604-859-5225 or text 222973.