Investigators from the Peel Regional Police Fraud Bureau would like to remind the public of an ongoing “Extortion Scam” currently circulating, targeting all Canadians.  

Police have received reports from residents who have received phone calls from persons posing as Government or Police Officials from various federal agencies including, and not limited to, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) the RCMP or a Regional Police service. They are led to believe by the official that they or their loved ones are under investigation in relation to their Canadian Status, outstanding taxes or police investigation. They are told they must pay money immediately, or they will be arrested. 

The caller will go on to provide very specific payment instructions, the latest is the purchase of BITCOINS however, they may also use Western Union or Money Gram transfers, buying prepaid credit card or iTunes cards in order to make a payment. They will further request copies of personal identification documents, for example Drivers license, citizenship documents, or passports, etc. 

How to protect yourself: 

• Canadian Government Officials WILL NOT contact you directly and demand money in exchange for securing your Canadian Status.
• The Canadian Government DOES NOT accept payments via Western Union, Money Gram or Prepaid Credit Cards or BITCOINS.
• DO NOT take immediate action. VERIFY that what you are being told is the truth.
• Ask yourself why a Government Official would be asking you to send copies of personal documents that they already have on file. They would not.
• Beware of Caller ID spoofing, fraudsters can manipulate call displays or provide real government agency contact numbers in order to appear legitimate.
• Talk to friends, family and loved ones about this scam and help them to protect themselves.

To learn more about this type of scam and other fraud scams currently affecting Canadians, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca