Downtown Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Downtown Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Canadian woman has been arrested and charged with fraud and stealing more than CA$200,000 (US$152,715) from members of the Filipino community in Ontario, Canada.

In a statement, the Durham Regional Police said Maria Elaine Doble, 28, from Oshawa in Ontario, convinced a group of Filipinos that she was a representative of a program called the Government Express Entry Compensation Program and told them she would be able to give them grants and help their loved ones in the Philippines immigrate to Canada.

Doble then allegedly sent out fake text messages and emails from government officers to the victims and told them to drop off money in a mailbox or address. After the payment, the victims were promised gifts and reimbursement of their fees, but received nothing.

Police believed the victims were defrauded of more than CA$200,000 in total. They eventually arrested Doble, who was charged with fraud, possession of property obtained by crime and unlawful possession of a counterfeit mark.

According to the World Population Review, in 2018, there were about 143,000 Filipinos in Toronto, or 5.1% of the population.