Police warn international students about phone scam
Fraudsters threaten deportation unless target sends pre-paid gift cards
Ottawa police are warning the public, particularly international students, about the resurgence of a phone scam threatening victims with deportation unless they pay up.
According to police, the fraudsters, who are believed to be calling from outside Canada, pose as officials from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and tell their targets they've been charged with a crime in their home country, usually money laundering.
They threaten to deport the victim unless they send pre-paid gift cards to a lawyer.
To further complicate matters, the calls appear to be coming from numbers belonging to the Ottawa Police Service, including their main number, 613-236-1222.
That number won't show up on call display if the call is genuine, Ottawa police said in a news release.
Police advise anyone who gets an unsolicited call demanding money or personal information to call back, enabling them to verify the origin of the call.
Anyone who has lost money because of this scam is asked to report it to Ottawa police either by calling 613-236-1222 extension 7300 or by using this online reporting tool.