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Citizenship Scam - IOC Registration - Warning! 

sharprajat
sharprajat
Posts: 15


Posted On: 8/12/2014
sharprajat
sharprajat
Posts: 15
Hi

A Citizenship scam is going on for some time to which I became a victim recently. I would like to share this with everyone. This is especially important for Indian citizens who are living in Canada and applied for Canadian citizenship.

The scammers call you on your home phone and ask for your personal details - name, date of birth, phone number, email and tell you that you have a citizenship application with immigration Canada and that it has been temporarily put on hold due to an IOC Registration process which you have not completed. IOC - Indian Overseas Citizen. They tell you that they are calling from Department of Immigration, Ottawa.

According to them, an IOC number is required by the Indian authorities from all Indian citizens who have applied for Canadian Citizenship. They tell you that there are two ways to complete the IOC Registration process:

1. either you go to India within next 10 days and complete the process there
2. or Immigration Canada will help you to complete the process from Canada.

Option 2 sounds more viable. So, I opted for that. In this option an immigration officer would be working in the Canadian Consulate in New Delhi on your behalf and complete the process there. The hold on your application will be removed only if this process is complete.

And then they ask you to pay a fee of CAD $735.00 per applicant in your family. The fee must be paid at a Canada Post location via MoneyGram and transferred to India. I ended up paying $3000.00 and by the time I realized it is a scam it was too late. After the first transaction they transfer you to their Validation Department and that department tells you that the receiver's name is not correct so you have to re-do the transfer. They also offer you a full refund and ask for your bank account number. Fortunately, I did not provide mine.

I found at least one person in another forum who became a victim of this scam in the exactly same manner. I am willing to but not sure if I can share the link from that forum here.

Guys, do not become a victim.

Be extra vigilant.

In case you do get a call like this ask the caller for a phone number and extension where you can call them back.

There is no IOC Registration process required by India or Immigration Canada.

Do not provide your File Number or ClientId.

Do not engage yourself in lengthy discussions and arguments.

Try to finish the call as soon as you can.

If in doubt, ask a family member or friend to call Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100 while you are talking to the caller.

You can also use Google to verify the facts given by the caller.

Some key words to watch for:
1. IOC Registration
2. Verification
3. Validation
4. Canada Post
5. Money Gram
6. Bank Name
7. Bank Account Number
8. Debit or Cash
9. Family Member Details (Name, Date of birth)
10. File Number
11. Legal Department
12. Validation Department
13. Accounts Department
14. Immigration Officer will visit you at your home
15. Whole Family

Please exercise caution while dealing with someone over phone and discussing your Citizenship Application.

Make it a point that you do not entertain callers who want to talk about your immigration status, citizenship, family status, family and kids, income tax, bank accounts, insurance etc.

I have reported this to Immigration Canada, Police, Fraud Bureau and my Bank. To be on the safer side, got new bank cards even though I did not tell them the card number and PIN. Just trying keep everyone informed so that you don't loose your vital information and money.

Good Luck!

Rajat


Rajat
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Posts: 2940


Posted On: 8/14/2014
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2940
Hello Rajat,

We are very sorry to hear that you have had this experience.

Thank you very much for sharing your situation and experience.

You have provided some very valuable information and tips.

This is very important information for us and for everyone else.

We will be sharing your situation and suggestions widely so that as many as possible are aware of this scam.

There is some important information on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Website in the Beware of telephone and email scams section. Although it is regarding CRA, the information is also helpful.

There are also some useful resources from CLEO entitled Telephone and internet scams.

Please let us know if there are any updates to your situation.

=====
Anna
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS
Settlement.Org
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sharprajat
sharprajat
Posts: 15


Posted On: 9/16/2014
sharprajat
sharprajat
Posts: 15
Got another call again from someone saying he is from CIC. It was a male voice with a different accent.

The guy asked if I am from India, I said Yes.

Then he asked if I have applied for anything with immigration recently and I told him that he should know about it if he is from CIC.

He then said he just want a Yes or No from me. I said yes.

And then I asked him to provide a phone number with extension where I can call him back.

At this he said this conversation is on a recorded line and he cannot provide his personal number.

I told him I am not asking for his personal number but the work number with extension. And that I know we can call CIC agents.

He then provided me this number - 12044805445 and asked me to call him back immediately and hung up the phone.

I did not try to call on this number.

Just want to share that a scam is still on so please be very careful and do not reveal any personal information.

Good Luck!



Rajat
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Kamlesh06
Kamlesh06
Posts: 1


Posted On: 10/4/2014
Kamlesh06
Kamlesh06
Posts: 1

Hi

A Citizenship scam is going on for some time to which I became a victim recently. I would like to share this with everyone. This is especially important for Indian citizens who are living in Canada and applied for Canadian citizenship.

The scammers call you on your home phone and ask for your personal details - name, date of birth, phone number, email and tell you that you have a citizenship application with immigration Canada and that it has been temporarily put on hold due to an IOC Registration process which you have not completed. IOC - Indian Overseas Citizen. They tell you that they are calling from Department of Immigration, Ottawa.

According to them, an IOC number is required by the Indian authorities from all Indian citizens who have applied for Canadian Citizenship. They tell you that there are two ways to complete the IOC Registration process:

1. either you go to India within next 10 days and complete the process there
2. or Immigration Canada will help you to complete the process from Canada.

Option 2 sounds more viable. So, I opted for that. In this option an immigration officer would be working in the Canadian Consulate in New Delhi on your behalf and complete the process there. The hold on your application will be removed only if this process is complete.

And then they ask you to pay a fee of CAD $735.00 per applicant in your family. The fee must be paid at a Canada Post location via MoneyGram and transferred to India. I ended up paying $3000.00 and by the time I realized it is a scam it was too late. After the first transaction they transfer you to their Validation Department and that department tells you that the receiver's name is not correct so you have to re-do the transfer. They also offer you a full refund and ask for your bank account number. Fortunately, I did not provide mine.

I found at least one person in another forum who became a victim of this scam in the exactly same manner. I am willing to but not sure if I can share the link from that forum here.

Guys, do not become a victim.

Be extra vigilant.

In case you do get a call like this ask the caller for a phone number and extension where you can call them back.

There is no IOC Registration process required by India or Immigration Canada.

Do not provide your File Number or ClientId.

Do not engage yourself in lengthy discussions and arguments.

Try to finish the call as soon as you can.

If in doubt, ask a family member or friend to call Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100 while you are talking to the caller.

You can also use Google to verify the facts given by the caller.

Some key words to watch for:
1. IOC Registration
2. Verification
3. Validation
4. Canada Post
5. Money Gram
6. Bank Name
7. Bank Account Number
8. Debit or Cash
9. Family Member Details (Name, Date of birth)
10. File Number
11. Legal Department
12. Validation Department
13. Accounts Department
14. Immigration Officer will visit you at your home
15. Whole Family

Please exercise caution while dealing with someone over phone and discussing your Citizenship Application.

Make it a point that you do not entertain callers who want to talk about your immigration status, citizenship, family status, family and kids, income tax, bank accounts, insurance etc.

I have reported this to Immigration Canada, Police, Fraud Bureau and my Bank. To be on the safer side, got new bank cards even though I did not tell them the card number and PIN. Just trying keep everyone informed so that you don't loose your vital information and money.

Good Luck!

Rajat


Rajat


Thanks Rajat,
Your post save me before getting victim of this scam.
I got same phone call and while talking on phone I google about IOC and got your post. I declined to pay money and told them to do what you want. thanks very much for sharing this post. I am sorry for your loss.


Kamlesh
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sharprajat
sharprajat
Posts: 15


Posted On: 10/7/2014
sharprajat
sharprajat
Posts: 15
Glad I was able to help you. I was wondering how come no one else is getting calls regarding IOC when there are so many people waiting to become citizens.

Did you report this to Immigration? Please do, so that they know the scammers are active and trying to victimize people.

Also, spread the word in whatever way you can. This is the only way to make people aware of such a scam.

Stay vigilant!

Rajat

Rajat
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Posts: 2940


Posted On: 10/9/2014
Moderator
Moderator
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Posts: 2940
Hello Rajat and Kamlesh,

Thanks again for sharing this important information and for the updates.

We have also shared these scam details with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

You can also find some information on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website in the How to report fraud section.

You can call the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 and choose the citizenship fraud tip line (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., your local time, except for statutory holidays).

You can also email tips to Citizenship-fraud-tips@cic.gc.ca.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

=====
Anna
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS
Settlement.Org
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ashu2188
ashu2188
Posts: 1


Posted On: 3/2/2015
ashu2188
ashu2188
Posts: 1
Hi Rajat,

Thanks for the valuable information that you posted here. I received such call in the morning today and while talking I was doing the google search as I doubted the caller. I found your post. Rather than giving any details to them, I asked for personal appointment and then call ended.

I called CIC immigration fraud department instantly and they informed me that nobody called me today from CIC and they asked me details about the fraud call and I reported it to them. They informed me that they will update the authorities about it.

Sorry that you lost your hard earned money. You surely saved a lot of people from becoming victim to such fraud. Great job !

P.S. The lady who was talking to me, she mentioned her name as Casey Black. Surely, it wasn't her real name.

Thanks,
Ashutosh
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Posts: 2940


Posted On: 3/11/2015
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2940
Hello Everyone,

Thanks again Rajat for sharing your experience with us in this forum. The information you provided has proven to be extremely valuable.

Today Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has put out this notice:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) - Notice – Telephone Scam Alert

Here is an excerpt,

Notice – Telephone Scam Alert

March 11, 2015 — Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is warning individuals of fraudulent telephone calls in which the caller identifies themselves as a CIC officer calling to collect additional personal information or asking that a fine be paid to avoid deportation.

Be aware: CIC does not contact individuals for the purpose of collecting fines or personal information to avoid deportation and NEVER asks the public to make a payment over the telephone.

Anyone who receives a suspicious call should hang up immediately and contact their local police, and report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or through their website or by email.

CIC provides tips on its website on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. For more information, see: Internet, Email and Telephone Scams, How to protect yourself.


I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

=====
Anna
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS
Settlement.Org
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Smittpes03
Smittpes03
Posts: 1


Posted On: 8/12/2015
Smittpes03
Smittpes03
Posts: 1
I am the latest victim of this scam. They made me transfer the money on two names dharmendra Patel and Aja Khima Rama.
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Posts: 2940


Posted On: 9/8/2015
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2940
Hello,

We are sorry to hear that.

It may be helpful if you report this as well.

The Toronto Police have today put out a Public Safety Alert regarding these type of scams.

Public Safety Alert - Immigration scam targeting South Asian community

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

=====
Anna
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS
Settlement.Org
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H120685
H120685
Posts: 1


Posted On: 1/6/2016
H120685
H120685
Posts: 1

My my...this just happened today !
 ::)

Unforgivable. >:(

Thank goodness for the many times I have alerted my family to be wary of verifying information over the phone. They claimed to be calling from Service Canada, knew personal details and related dates, suggested a Counselor would assist with case and ding ding ding ... would cost only $8000!  :o

Oh and in case you do not have this kind of money...how much do you have in your account?

Further...if you do not take any action, face the consequences of cops at your door (for which again you should call 911 before answering it)... to which our response :  :)  Sure, Let's meet... BTW is this displayed number your direct contact? And click..........

My conscientious family is concerned for all immigrants out there who may have gone through tougher times  :-[ ... to get to this amazing country Canada ... please be aware!  ;D

Report the call to Fraud Division 18884958501 administered by RCMP.  8)

Blessings to all ! 8)

-H



p.s: Kindness is contagious,  :D spread peace and love !
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adopotato82
adopotato82
Posts: 6


Posted On: 1/30/2016
adopotato82
adopotato82
Posts: 6
That is very scary, thanks for sharing this info as it could help someone else from getting scammed. I also get calls from people pretending to be from Revenue Canada. Even heard of a scam recently where they come to your door dressed as police. Always be hesitant to give away your info and always treat things like this suspiciously,

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