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London police issue warning about immigration scam

London Police Headquarters at 601 Dundas St. File photo

London police are warning the public to be vigilant against an ongoing scam in the London region and throughout southwestern Ontario.

The scam targets immigrants in the country via a telephone call where the scammer pretends to work for Immigration Canada. During the call from the fake employee, they attempt to make the recipient believe they are the subject of an immigration investigation.

The threat of arrest and/or deportation is used to persuade the person to provide personal and financial information. In some cases, the caller becomes aggressive in order to get the individual to comply with their demands.

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“There are currently a number of scams and frauds being used by criminals but the end goal is to defraud you of your money,” said London police Const. Sandasha Bough. “It’s common practice for criminals to spoof real law enforcement numbers on call display using apps or other software.

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Bough adds it’s the Canada Border Services Agency that’s responsible for immigration enforcement in Canada.

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In the scam, people are asked to provide Bitcoin, iTunes cards, gaming cards, prepaid credit and gift cards, Western Union money transfers, money grams and e-transfer/wire transfers, things the Canada Border Services Agency would never do.

Police say Londoners should report any suspicious telephone calls, text or emails to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or to the London Police Service Fraud Telephone Intake line (519-661-5515, extension 5257).

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