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Criminal scams in Kingston actively target students

Students cautioned not to transfer money to unknown callers or provide personal information

The university has been made aware of several criminal scams that are targeting Canadian and international students.  You may receive a phone call, email, or text message from individuals claiming that they are from Canada Revenue Agency, Immigration Canada, or the police. They may use intimidating language to convince you to make a payment or share details about your identity. Do not transfer money to them or provide personal information about your passport, health card, or driver’s license.

We recognize that it can be particularly difficult for international students to navigate these scams. If you are an international student and have received a suspicious phone call, text, or email, please contact the Queen’s International Student Centre (QUIC) and they can help you understand what's happening. The International Student Advisor can be reached at ISA@queensu.ca or by phone at 613.533.2604. All other calls should be directed to Campus Security and Emergency Services at (613) 533-6080 or Kingston Police.

Here are some things that you should know in order to protect yourself:

  • Do not transfer money or respond in any way to the phone call, email or text message. Organizations like Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and Canadian Border Services (CBSA) do not use aggressive language or demand immediate payment by Interact e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others.
  • Learn how to protect yourself against phone scams by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency website
  • Do not click on links in suspicious emails. You can preview an email address or web link by rolling your mouse over it to check if it’s legitimate. You can learn more about information security on Queen’s ITS website.
  • If you're not sure about something, WAIT.  If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact the Kingston Police.