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Protect yourself against fraud

From: Canada Border Services Agency

There are many sophisticated frauds and scams in Canada, and new ones pop up daily. Some frauds and scams attempt to imitate federal government services to gain access to personal and financial information.

Email, text and telephone scams

Individuals posing as CBSA officials are using email, text messages and telephone calls to fraudulently access your personal information and request payments.

Telephone calls may display numbers and employee names that appear to be from the CBSA. Emails may contain CBSA logos, email addresses or employee names and titles to mislead the readers.

Be on alert if someone is claiming to be a CBSA employee and contacts you to:

  • request personal information (such as a Social Insurance Number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number)
  • demand money

The CBSA never initiates a request for your SIN and credit card number by telephone, text or email. If you receive a telephone call or an email asking for this information, or requesting money, it is a scam.

In some cases, these scams use false CBSA identifiers such as:

  • telephone display numbers and CBSA employee names
  • CBSA logos on websites or in emails
  • CBSA email addresses, employee names and titles

Mail packages

The CBSA may call recipients/importers to clarify package declaration details; however, if you receive a call telling you that you must pay duty and taxes on a package that the CBSA is holding and threatens penalties, including jail time, beware that this is a scam.

Canada Post is responsible for collecting duties and taxes prior to a mail item being delivered to the recipient.

Courier/commercial packages

If you have a package coming to you via courier shipment (FedEx, UPS, etc.), the courier company will reach out to you to organize the duties and taxes payment prior to the delivery. The courier, not CBSA, will hold the package until your payment is made.

Web scams

Ignore fraudulent webpages and apps posing as ArriveCAN, Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and asking for money.

ArriveCAN fraud

ArriveCAN is free and secure. It is an optional mobile application and web tool that provides travellers with the option to provide their customs and immigration declaration to the CBSA before flying into Canada.

Use ArriveCAN for a faster border experience.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) fraud

Visa-exempt foreign nationals and certain others travelling to Canada by air must purchase an Electronic Travel Authorization to enter Canada. An eTA is electronically linked to a traveller's passport. An eTA costs $7 CAD.

You can only apply and pay for one person at a time from this official Government of Canada website.

Report frauds and scams

Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to report frauds and scams.

Visit Scams and fraud to learn more about attempts to imitate government services and how to recognize suspicious requests.

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