Scammers reaching new lows as they focus their efforts on defrauding immigrants and refugees

News Release

March 30, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

As Canadians welcome thousands of new immigrants and refugees, the scammers are out looking to take advantage of these newcomers. They place harassing phone calls or send threatening spam, pose as government officials and police officers, and demand money in order to avoid deportation or arrest, or to access fake programs.

It is important that settlement agencies, private sponsorship groups, and those assisting immigrants and refugees take the time to share this information with newcomers as early as possible. They play a crucial role to help newcomers avoid becoming victims, and to recognize, reject and report these scams!

Recognize it:

The Canadian Government or the police will never contact you by e-mail or phone demanding money or banking information, or threatening deportation or arrest. If you are ever in doubt, do not take any action before asking a trusted person about the validity of the message.

Reject it:

If you receive a threatening phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be from the government or police, hang up and do not respond. If they continue to call, ignore it. If they leave you a message, delete it.

Report it:

Contact your local police, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or contact the Canadian Anti‑fraud Centre, or call 1‑888‑495‑8501. You can also contact the Competition Bureau, or call 1‑800‑348‑5358.

Associated links

  • For more information on scams, visit the Common scams page.
  • Visit the Fraud Prevention section of the Bureau’s website for more information on fighting fraud.
  • View the Bureau’s videos on the various scams found in The Little Black Book of Scams.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-5945

For general enquiries, please contact:
Information Centre
Competition Bureau
Telephone: 819-997-4282
Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
TTY (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844
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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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