Thunder Bay police warn of immigration fraud scam after a series of complaints

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Thunder Bay police are warning the public about a sophisticated case of fraud targeting immigrants to Canada.

In a release issued on Wednesday, police say a complainant reported a pair of simultaneous calls from people purporting to be a Canadian immigration agent and a police detective, the perpetrators going as far as setting up a caller ID indicating it was the Thunder Bay Police Service on the phone.

According to the complainant, the so-called immigration agent informed him there had been a complaint made about him and a warrant may be issued for his arrest.

Moments later he got a second call, the caller ID showing the police department’s 684-1200 number, the caller informing him that a warrant would be issued if a certain amount of money wasn’t paid.

After hanging up with the fake detective, the phony immigration officer began asking for banking information to pay for legal advice through their office.

The complainant instead called the actual police to report the incident.

Police confirmed it was an attempted fraud.

“Citizens must be cautious when speaking to unknown people who call your home. This sense of urgency should be the first clue and send up huge red flags that a fraudster is attempting to have money sent or banking information provided before individuals can really think about it,” said police spokeswoman Const. Julie Tilbury in the release.

“The way technology has opened up the world, it has allowed for these criminals to have access to anyone right in the comfort of their own home either by phone or over the Internet.”

Tilbury stressed police don’t work with organizations that demand compensation to avoid being arrested, adding they encourage people to simply hang up the phone.

“That is your right.”

She advised the public to check the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website if they suspect something isn’t right.

Read the original story over at The News Watch.

This story was summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.