Abbotsford Police issue warning as South Asian loses about $2,000 in immigration fee fraud

A South Asian man has lost almost $2,000 in an immigration fee fraud and Abbotsford Police have issued a warning about the scam.

On Monday (April 20), an Abbotsford man received a call purportedly from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  The caller advised that the man was required to pay $4,280 within seven hours or he would face deportation.  He was instructed to purchase pre-loaded credit cards and await a call back.  The conversation between the victim and the caller took place in both English and Punjabi, said Constable Ian MacDonald.

The victim checked the caller’s number and it did appear to be associated with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  So he went to purchase some of the pre-loaded credit cards at a local business.  After sharing the credit card information with the caller, a demand for the balance was made.  An employee of the business where the credit cards were purchased became suspicious and contacted the Abbotsford Police Department.

APD patrol officers met with the victim and quickly determined that the man had been the victim of a scam where a spoofed telephone number had been used.  The incident is still under investigation but the victim is currently out almost $2,000.

MacDonald said police want people to be aware of this scam and always be suspicious of any contact where money is to be immediately paid or transferred in order to stave off repercussions from authorities. Variations of this type of fraud are plentiful.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the APD at 604-859-5225, text them at 222973 (abbypd) or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.