Scammers target new citizens, say police

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People claiming to work for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have targeted residents in the NWT, threatening new citizens to pay or risk being deported.

Police have issued a warning for the scam in which someone calls claiming to work for the IRCC to tell people they have failed to complete or register immigration papers. The caller threatens the resident with deportation or loss of citizenship if they don’t immediately pay a fee.

In a Thursday news release, the RCMP advised residents to be wary of calls demanding immediate action without discussion.

The IRCC does not call clients to demand payment. If fees are owed, the organization asks that they be paid through banks or its website. It does not request payment through pre-paid credit cards and private money transfer services. Clients are encouraged to call the IRCC to confirm the legitimacy of requests.

Police are also warning residents to beware of fake online ads that offer work permits and high-paying jobs with little to no experience required. Once victims contact the suspect, they’re asked to pay a fee over services like Western Union, e-transfer, Visa or pre-paid cards. There is no further contact with the suspect after this payment.

RCMP notes that Canadian visa offices do not require deposits into personal bank accounts or money transfers through services like Western Union. It asks residents to confirm the validity of a website, and be aware immigration representatives cannot guarantee a visa through personal connections. Further, these representatives do not need to be hired.