Tia's Advice: Fraud Prevention

UVic Global Community Newsletter: June 19, 2017

Tia's Advice is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes International Student Advising information and a list of Important Dates for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students, incoming exchange students and incoming visiting students.

What is fraud?

Fraud is defined as wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

Attempted fraud is often referred to as a scam. There are many types of scams. They can happen over the telephone, through the mail, by text, by email, online or in person.

Fraud is a serious problem, in Canada and around the world, but you can take the following actions to protect yourself: Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.

Recognize it.

Most scams either ask you for money or ask you to provide sensitive personal information.

Sensitive personal information can be used to access your financial accounts, access your email accounts or steal your identity.

Sensitive personal information includes your date of birth, Social Insurance Number (SIN), mailing address, financial account numbers, usernames and passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), driver’s license number, passport number and mother’s middle or maiden name.

Scams can be very convincing. They often appear to come from well-known and trusted businesses, financial institutions or government agencies. Sometimes they even appear to come from UVic!

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) website provides helpful information for recognizing scams.

Here are two examples of scams targeting international students.

Canada Revenue Agency

This email scam appears to come from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subject of the email is Tax Refund Notification. The content of the email is as follows:

Dear Taxpayer,

After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of : $521.51

Your Refund Reference Number is: Ref/0502REF_ID/2015.

Refund Amount : $521.51

To access the form for your tax refund, please Click Here (In the email, this link opens an online form that asks for sensitive personal information.)

2017 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Support

CRA will NEVER request sensitive personal information by email and does not send emails containing links. Also, CRA does not send emails in only English or French. All emails from CRA are sent in both official languages.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

This telephone scam appears to come from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Caller ID shows 1-888-242-2100, which is the real telephone number for the IRCC Call Centre.

The caller identifies themselves as an IRCC agent or officer. The caller demands payment of a fine to avoid deportation from Canada. The caller provides a file number and uses threatening legal language, including words such as removal order and misrepresentation.

IRCC does not contact individuals for the purpose of collecting fines to avoid deportation from Canada and will NEVER ask you to make a payment over the telephone.

Report it.

When you recognize a scam, report it to the CAFC by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online.

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, report it to the CAFC and to your local police. If you don’t know how to contact your local police, please visit or contact the International Student Centre.

Stop it.

Here are some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

For email scams:

  • Be suspicious about emails that are not personalized.
  • Be cautious when opening email attachments and clicking on links in the content regardless of who the email appears to be from.
  • Email scams are often called phish. Learn how to spot a phish.

For telephone scams:

  • If the caller is selling a product or service that sounds interesting, request further documentation so you can verify the validity of the company or organization.
  • Be suspicious about the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low cost purchase or payment in advance for shipping, taxes, etc.
  • Be suspicious about tight timelines for making a purchase or payment.
  • If you are suspicious, hang up.

In general:

  • Be suspicious of miracle cures and situations that sound too good to be true.
  • Be suspicious of situations where you must take action quickly or else face dire consequences.
  • Do not give your usernames and passwords (such as your UVic NetLink ID or your GCKey) to anyone, for any reason.
  • Keep your identity documents in a secure place, and do not carry them with you unless you will need them.
  • Regularly review your financial accounts, and contact your financial institution immediately if you notice any incorrect transactions.
  • Immediately report any lost or stolen identity documents, credit cards or debit cards.
  • Shred personal and financial documents before throwing them away.

More International Student Advising information is available on our website. If you can't find the answers you are looking for, or if you require more information, visit or contact the International Student Centre.

Important Dates

June 20: Course registration for winter session begins. Confirm your assigned registration date and time on UVic My Page in the Student Services section under the Registration tab.

June 21: National Aboriginal Day.

July 1: Canada Day. This is a statutory holiday, so classes will be cancelled and UVic services will be closed.

July 15: Deadline for undergraduate and graduate students to apply to graduate for 2017 fall convocation.

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