Rise in Fraudulent or “Scam” Calls

Recently, there have been a number of scam calls from individuals claiming to be employees of Service Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, as well as the local police agency.

An increasing number of international students have reported receiving phone calls regarding their social insurance numbers (SIN). The caller threatens to make an arrest if no immediate action is taken. The scammers use Caller ID Spoofing to disguise their phone numbers with legitimate numbers for government agencies.

It’s important to know when it is and isn’t a legitimate communication from a government agency. Government agencies will never:

  • Contact you by phone to collect fees or fines;
  • Be aggressive or threaten to arrest or deport you;
  • Threaten to harm you or your family member;
  • Ask for personal information over the phone;
  • Ask for financial information over the phone;
  • Try to rush you into paying right away;
  • Ask for payment in credit cards, Western Union, Money Gram, gift cards, or Bitcoins.


  • Never provide your personal information to strangers over the phone;
  • Ask for the name of the person calling and then hang up;
  • Call the government agency yourself to confirm that the call was real;
  • If the call wasn’t real, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre;
  • If you have lost money to a scammer, report it to your local police.

Speak with a staff member (York International, York Security Services, your program advisor, etc.) at York University if you need help verifying the phone call. Reach out whenever you aren’t sure.