Immigration phone scam annoys Saskatoon woman

Theresa Aubin-Singh of Saskatoon has been receiving a lot of phone calls lately, but they’ve been anything but social calls.

Theresa Aubin-Singh receives as many as five calls a day

Theresa Aubin-Singh has been getting phone calls from people pretending to be immigration officials. (James Hopkin/CBC)

Theresa Aubin-Singh has been receiving a lot of phone calls lately, but they've been anything but social calls.

​Instead, the callers are posing as immigration officials with dire news, telling her she is "in big trouble."

The bogus calls appear on her phone with an annoying frequency — up to five times per day, she said. 

When she does answer, the caller claims to be an employee of Immigration Canada.

This is one of many suspicious phone numbers showing up on Aubin-Singh's telephone. (James Hopkin/CBC)

A recent caller presented himself as a counsellor and told Aubin-Singh that she was in Canada illegally.

"They've targeted the wrong person," Aubin-Singh said. "I am not an immigrant. I've lived here my entire life. I was born at St. Paul's Hospital."

Aubin-Singh said she is on the national Do Not Call list and has asked her telephone service provider to intervene. So far, however, the calls continue.

She has also alerted RCMP about the scam, although she said she has not been asked for any money.

The reason, she said, is that she never lets the conversation get that far.

"We don't get to that point, because I let them have it," she said.

Newcomers may be intimidated, Aubin-Singh worries

While she is confident the calls are a sham, Aubin-Singh is worried that others may fall victim to the scare tactic used.

"There are people, vulnerable people, who are maybe just new to Canada and they will be intimidated," she said.

When asked what people should do when receiving such calls, Aubin-Singh recommended blowing a whistle, or even an air horn, into the phone.

"That's what they deserve," she said.