Warning to refugee and immigrant communities about fraudulent calls

News release

April 26, 2018 – Ottawa – The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is reminding people about an ongoing scam targeting members of the immigrant and refugee community.

In recent days, there have been new scams centred mostly on the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas. Victims have reported receiving telephone calls from persons claiming to be representatives of the IRB and are being told that they are under investigation and owe money. In some instances, these calls are made to appear to be coming from the IRB or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The scam appears to be the same scam that began in December 2017.

It is important to note that the IRB will never ask its clients for money. The Board is currently working with law enforcement agencies to identify the perpetrators and bring an end to this scam. In the meantime, the Board continues to seek the help of the media and stakeholders in sharing this message to limit the impacts of this fraud.

The IRB takes the privacy of its clients very seriously and has strong safeguards in place to protect individuals’ private information.  If anyone receives a call like this, immediately hang up and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud, call your local police as soon as possible.


“The IRB takes the privacy and security of all our clients very seriously as refugee matters, for example, can often be matters of life and death. On top of that, we are continuing to take steps to stop this scam and protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  The IRB will never ask anyone for money.”

-  Paul Aterman, Acting Chairperson, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

“If you receive a call from someone saying they are from the government of Canada who proceeds to ask you for money, be aware that this is a scam. You should report these types of calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.”

-  Jeff Thomson, Acting Manager, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre


Media Relations Office 
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

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