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Avoiding Scams

Types of Scams

Phone Scams

IRCC, Service Canada, and other government organizations will never call and ask you to transfer money to an individual, provide payment over the phone or online, or pay a fee. Nor will they text you asking you for personal information. Here are some points to remember if you receive a phone call that you are concerned about:

  • If in doubt, you can contact the organization directly.
  • Do not give the caller ANY personal information, even if they have some of your information already.
    • Do not share information about your bank account, SIN, contact information, address, etc.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, end the conversation.

Phishing Scams

You may receive an official-looking email that asks you to provide personal information such as bank account information and passwords. These types of emails may look like they are from a McGill account and will try to trick you into clicking on an unreliable link or opening an attachment with a virus. Always check the URL when you open a link from your email. If you receive a concerning email or if you get hacked, report it to McGill IT and change your password immediately.

Employment Scams

Students have received emails regarding employment opportunities that literally sound too good to be true. They offer job opportunities with flexible hours, great wages and say they got your contact information from an administrator at McGill. It is illegal for McGill employees to share confidential information with external organizations without your permission. Please delete the email. Do not respond. The Career Planning Service offers much more in-depth information on job scams and LinkedIn scams.


  • Report phishing and other inline incidents and scams to McGill IT.
  • If you have shared your SIN or bank information, you must contact Service Canada or your bank immediately.
  • A post by the Better Business Bureau talking about rental scams
  • The Ontario Securities Commission provides information about different types of investment fraud/scams

Awareness & Prevention Resources

Government of Canada: Preventing Fraud Resources

Government of Canada: Fraud Awareness for Newcomers to Canada

McGill IT: Beware of Tax Season Scams

McGill IT: Stay Safe Online

Government of Canada: What kind of fraud should newcomers watch out for?

Reporting Resources

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (they list current scams and have resources on how to avoid being scammed)

Montreal Police: Fraud

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