An international student at the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) in Canada recently had a close call with scammers and posted the story on reddit. Here it is:
It’s been a few months since I moved to Canada.
I am an international student with a new SIM and because of this, I am very vulnerable to scam texts, calls, etc.
My first experience was a text saying some money was deposited into my bank account. My naive gullible self believed it and followed to link and ended up entering all my bank info. When I told my bf about this, he helped me realize, I then contacted my bank and had my card suspended.
Today, I received a call claiming to be from the Canadian Government. It started with an automated voice saying a package with illegal substances in it was delivered under my name. They also said an arrest warrant was issued for me. I was very scared and ready to do anything to fix it.
Next, they told me to press 1 to talk to one of their officers. I did. They asked for my name, address, and SIN. I didn’t give them my SIN since I don’t think I have one. They then started telling me all the things I was accused of, this included money laundering, transporting drugs, and other things I did not understand. Feeling overwhelmed, I broke down and was told not to cry. But I did not for once need to tell them I was innocent. They just assumed I was a victim of identity fraud. Since I was in a state of panic, I did not stop to think, I believed everything they said and did not see anything wrong with it.
I was then transferred to a senior officer. This person made me go to my bank, withdraw all my money, and then go to a bitcoin machine. The whole time they were on call with me. They said having more than 125 CAD in my bank account would mean it was black money. The bitcoin machine they made me use was at a Little Short Stop store.
When I reached the store, I asked the cashier where the bitcoin ATM thing was. They pointed it out for me. They realized I didn’t know what it was. An angel immediately stopped me, told me to get off my phone. that I was getting scammed. After I cut the call, the scammers texted me, telling me to get out of the store and call them back. I broke down yet again and hugged the girl who helped me. If it wasn’t for her I would’ve lost all the money I had today and maybe more in the future.
The more I talk about it the more I realize how obvious of a scam it was. But when you’re accused of something so big when you’ve been sitting at home and studying all day, you really don’t think about it twice.
The girl who helped me told me to share this with my friends. I don’t have any friends so I’m making a Reddit post online. I hope it can be helpful to people since not everyone will be lucky enough to have someone stop them right when they’re about to send all their money to a “senior officer”. I hope the amount of detail I am describing this in can help other people realize when something similar happens to them.
This might be very dumb but I am very new to all these things. I’ve had to learn a lot of things on my own and am making a lot of mistakes along the way. This time, I just got lucky. I hope nobody goes anywhere as close as I did to giving all my money away like this.
Scammers love international students
Scammers target international students because often they are young, living away from home for the first time, and a long way from family and friends who can give advice.
Parts of this story are similar to the scam that tricked another UWaterloo student out of C$100,000.
Click here to read more stories about international students who were tricked by scams.
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