Be Advised

Be aware of phone scams

Scams and fraudulent calls target everyone; learn how to protect yourself from being manipulated to give these callers your money.

What is a scam?

A "scam" is a fraudulent act that dishonest people use to trick others into giving them money or personal information. Scams can be in the form of a telephone call, email, text or even through your social media accounts. You need to inform yourself to avoid falling victim to these types of scams.
Scams can result in:

  • Stolen identity
  • Loss of money
  • Computer viruses that compromise your computer's security

Can You Tell a CRA Agent from a Scam Artist?

Be aware of scams!

No one from any Government agencies, such as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Service Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), or Canada Security and Intelligence Services (CSIS), will ever contact you to ask for money, especially in the form of Bitcoin or gift cards.

Be vigilant:

  • Government organizations never contact you by telephone or email for your personal information, including SIN number, bank account, immigration documents, etc. - If you receive such calls/emails, it is a scam!
  • Do not respond! Do not transfer money! Do not give your personal information!
  • These phone calls/emails are meant to scare and threaten you.
  • Report any incidents to :

What kinds of scams target international students?

Some recent scams that target international students have come to our attention:

  • Call, text or email from someone claiming to be a Service Canada or RCMP/Police official from Service Canada or the RCMP/police informing you that your SIN is compromised, suspended or blocked
  • Call or email from someone posing as a Bank Teller asking for your account and personal information
  • Call about an "outstanding arrest warrant" from someone claiming to be a Police Officer.
  • Call or email from someone claiming to be from IRCC threatening deportation
  • Call or email from someone posing as a CRA representative claiming you have outstanding taxes owing.
  • Call or email from someone following up on a job application you submitted online or claiming to have found your resume online, offering you a job without going through a legitimate application and interview process. This person may send a fraudulent cheque to cover your first "salary payment" and then ask you to transfer funds from your bank account using Western Union or MoneyGram. Or, they may ask for your personal information (e.g., credit card or SIN information)

Remember, be attentive. Even smart students have been scammed out of thousands of dollars!

What should I do if I suspect I am being scammed?

  • Hang up or ignore the text or email; block the number or mark the email as spam.
  • Do not click on any links in suspicious emails.
  • If the suspected transaction was made through your bank or you provided your account information to someone, contact your bank immediately to report suspicious activity.
  • Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll-free: 1-888-495-8501
  • Contact an International Student Advisor at the Telus International Services Centre.


  • No one from any government agency will ever contact you to ask for money, especially not in the form of Bitcoin or gift cards.
  • There are ways to control the number displayed on your caller ID to reflect the actual Government Office, RCMP, or Local Police.
  • Your bank never calls to ask for your account information.
  • The Police or RCMP never call to "warn" the accused of committing a crime or ask for money to "make it go away."
  • Never act on the promise of a job that requires you to send money.

Learn more:

Internet, email and telephone scams

IRCC warning about scams targeting international students

Student Scam Stories

My scam experience

Yasmin, from India, shares her scam experience. Read her story.

My Scam Experience


Read how international students have been scammed; it will help you know what to look for if it happens to you. 

Students Share Their Scam Experiences