Scams against refugees: community-based organizations should increase awareness, according to Heurtel

News 13 December, 2017
  • File Photo, Simon Clark
    The Immigration minister, David Heurtel

    Charles Lecavalier

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017 12:19

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017 12:19

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    The community agencies that support refugees are responsible for the raise awareness against scammers, believes the quebec minister of Immigration David Heurtel.

    • READ ALSO: tax evaders without mercy, targeting asylum seekers

    “The work (awareness) are done through the agencies of integration,” has launched Mr. Heurtel during a media scrum Wednesday at the entrance to the council of ministers.

    The Newspaper reported Wednesday morning that fraudsters seek asylum applicants in a new scam of a magnitude rarely seen. They extort money by pretending to be an immigration tribunal, even going as far as to threaten expulsion.

    Since 7 December, the immigration and refugee board of Canada (IRB) has received not less than 140 complaints from people saying to have been the target of an attempted extortion aimed particularly at asylum seekers. Several were from Quebec. The situation “concerned” David Heurtel.

    Mr. Heurtel estimated that in order to fight against these scammers, you need to make “awareness”. “You need to see how we can do outreach through organizations which are in charge of the integration, to develop the reflex of asylum seekers to ensure that checks are made before they give their money to anyone”,-he said.

    How fraudsters are targeting asylum seekers is not yet clear, but the Canadian anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) stated that they use public records to find and contact their targets. In the majority of cases, the scammers require at least $ 1000 to the victim saying that if she does not pay, his case will be refused and it will be either imprisoned or outright expelled from the country.

    “We must ensure that these refugees are addressed to the organizations recognized by the department and these organisations are responsible for integration and support. If there is a doubt, it is necessary to contact the ministry directly,” he said.