Canada Police: Phone scams rampant, target ‘clueless’ immigrants

By , on May 19, 2015

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Ace Reality broker Laxmi Mital, who is an Indian immigrant to Canada for 44 years, claimed that a representative of the ‘Consulate General of India’ and the ‘Canadian Immigration Service’ had been calling him for complaints filed against him and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine.

Mital said that the incident did not just happen once. He had received multiple calls. The first call took place on May 1, when the man on the line told him that he was from the ‘Consulate General of India’ and that ‘there are some complaints against you.’

“I said I have nothing to do with the Consulate General of India. I said who are you and he hung up the phone,” Mital recalled.

The Consulate General of India, for their part, asserted that no one from them made the said phone call.

“We definitely do not call anybody to pay money because there are complaints against him. Nor do we believe Canadian authorities call in that manner,” an Indian Consulate General representative said.

The second call occurred on May 4. This time, the man claimed to be a certain Jack Taylor from the ‘Canadian Immigration Office.’ He reiterated the said ‘complaints’ and the amount of money Mital had to pay.

“I asked him what was the complaint and he would not say what was the complaint. I said ‘How did you calculate $1,000? Why not more?,’” he asked, demanding for more information on the ‘complaints.’

The bogus caller, who had a Texas area code, had been contacted but did not clearly answer questions on his calls or his purpose. He only disclosed that he was Jack Taylor from the ‘Canadian Immigration Service’ who called immigrants for ‘complaints.’

Mital then believed that the caller was a fraudster, only pretending as a representative of the Indian government to steal money from him.

The Calgary Police Service’s Economic Crimes Unit, meanwhile, confirmed that Mital’s caller was a scammer and said that the incident was not new.

“There are different variations saying they’re Indian immigration, Canadian immigration… lots in relation to immigration in general. They do prey on people, new immigrants to Canada, things like that that don’t understand the laws or how immigration works and are fearful that they’ll be deported,” Staff Sgt. Kristie Verheul said.

“It’s not a spike. It’s definitely something that happens consistently over the phone. But what we are seeing rise is the cyber side of things so emails and websites that have links on them or an email saying this is Canada Immigration and we need to do X and Y, follow these steps,” she added, mentioning that 14 similar incidents had been reported to them as of this year.