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Canadians Plagued by Government Impersonation Phone Scams

While the most popular phone scam in the U.S. last year was the auto warranty scam, in Canada, government impersonation scams top the list. In a recent survey, 68% of Canadian respondents said they received an impersonated call last year, and 40.5% of those calls were impersonating the Canadian government — that’s nearly 3 times the global average.

Those are just some of the findings in Hiya’s 2022 State of the Call Canada report. The report, based on surveys of more than 2,000 Canadian consumers and 300 businesses, is full of insights and trends related to the voice call. 

Here are two of the most popular government impersonation scams plaguing Canadian consumers:

Canada Border Services Agency phone scam

A frequent phone scam in Canada involves robocalls pretending to be from Canada Border Services Agency. These scams target recent immigrants who are less familiar with how government services work in Canada. A popular version of the phone scam goes like this:

“Canada Border Services has seized a parcel under your name, which was shipped through Canada Post using your identity. The parcel contained illegal components. There is an arrest warrant issued under your name. To talk to an officer from Canada Border Services, press 1.”

Department of Service Canada phone scam

Another phone scam that has been pervasive in Canada is a robocall pretending to be from the Department of Service Canada. Like the call above, this targets Canadians who are less familiar with government services, as well as the elderly who depend on government programs for their income.   

“This call is from the Department of Service Canada. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you we just suspended your social insurance number because we found some suspicious activity. If you want to know more about this case, press 1.”               

How to fight back against scam calls

Carriers can protect their customers from phone scams by adding Hiya Protect, which blocks or labels spam and scam calls with high accuracy, without blocking important calls. It is used by phone carriers, mobile phone manufacturers, and network providers who are looking to create a differentiated voice offering and to increase customer satisfaction.

Enterprises can help their customers feel safe answering the phone by adding Hiya Connect, which enables businesses to display their company name, logo and reason for the call on the recipient’s mobile phone. 

Individuals can check with their phone carrier to see if it offers any spam/scam blocking capabilities. If not, ask your carrier to consider adding Hiya Protect. 

Download State of the Call reports for Canada, U.S. and Europe

To learn more about popular phone scams and other insights into voice trends in Canada, download the Canadian version of the report below, or watch the webinar that takes a deep dive into the results. You can also download State of the Call reports for Europe and the U.S. 

State of the Call Canada 2022 report

State of the Call Canada 2022 webinar  

State of the Call 2022 U.S./Global report

State of the Call Europe 2022 report

Author Hiya Team