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Citizenship Scam - IOC Registration - Warning!



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!



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.