Indian Embassies Issue Advisory Against Fake Calls

Indian embassies in some countries have issued notices against calls from fraudsters claiming to be representing immigration authorities.


Indian embassies in Canada, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal have issued public notices against fraud calls that display their landline number. The callers usually asked people who have legally migrated to the country to transfer a sum of money citing some reason or the other.

The Indian embassy in Canada issued the notice five days ago, after Canadian resident Vinod Kuruvilla was told by a caller that he must transfer $1,000 immediately to a bank account as his immigration papers were not in order, the Hindustan Times reported. Kuruvilla, 40, told the publication that he recognized the number as that of the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada.

The engineer from India who had moved to Canada six months ago then called the high commission, where an official told him that the call he received was one of the many cases of cyber fraud in which people are asked to transfer a sum for some reason. “The embassy officials told me to approach local police and advised me against giving out bank details or money,” he told HT.

These calls are not isolated as four other embassies — France, Italy, Spain, Portugal — have sent out similar notices.

“The high commission in Ottawa has taken up the matter with the Canadian government and we too have put out a public notice,” an Indian official was quoted as saying in the report.

The notice from the Canadian embassy said: “Protect yourself from a telephone scam that relates to security deposits. We’ll never ask you for any sort of security deposit or payment over the telephone.” The notice added that scamsters can use telephone scams to steal people’s money or identity and asked people to be careful of such calls.
“You should be very careful of scams asking for details like your credit card, bank account or passport numbers, and any other types of personal information. If you get a suspicious call, hang up right away and contact your local police to report it. You can also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre,” said the notice.

The notice from the Indian embassy in France said: “Beware of fraudulent/hoax calls purportedly from telephone number 0140505070/71 belonging to Indian embassy asking for Indian students/diaspora transfer money, embassy of India never asks for such transfers.”

These are not the only countries where people are vexed with fraudulent calls. Such fake calls also plagued Indian communities in Australia and Germany last year, with the Indian embassy in Berlin issuing at least four notices about fraudulent calls.

Canada has over 1.2 million persons of Indian origin, almost 90 per cent of whom live in metropolitan areas and other major cities.

According to the Indian embassy estimates, 106,000 Indians live in France.

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