We would like to alert you about recent telephone scams that have been targeting newcomers to Canada, including students at Columbia College. In these situations, the caller often pretends to be an immigration officer or government official, and tells you that you have broken the law or that your loved ones have been kidnapped. It is probably a scam if they ask you to pay money or ask you to give them your personal information (date of birth, passport number, credit card information, etc.). They may even threaten you by saying that you could go to jail, never see your loved ones again, be deported, lose your visa, or have your account suspended if you don’t pay or give your personal information.
For more details about these scams, including the most recent virtual kidnapping scheme targeting Chinese students, visit the RCMP (Police) website.
Be aware: Scammers often give a fake name and agent number to appear legitimate. If you think the caller is a scammer:
- ask for the name and number of the agent, and
- call the Call Centre to confirm the agent’s identity.
If you received a suspicious call, hang up immediately and:
- call your local police if you lost money.
- report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If you have been the target of a scam and provided personal or financial information, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:
Alternatively, you may also speak with Student Services staff for additional support.
Rose Black, BA (Hons), RISIA
Student Services Manager | Columbia College