Frequently Asked Questions
What type of information is the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) interested in?
We are interested in information pertaining to suspicious cross-border activities relating to persons or goods that have or will enter Canada.
Please do not get involved or try to gather evidence. For your own protection, never try to take the law into your own hands or get involved in any illegal activities.
Note: For immediate national security threats or a crime in progress, please call 911.
We are interested in suspicious cross-border activities related, but not limited to:
- National Security / Terrorism
- War Crimes
- Organized Crime
- Drugs / Contraband Smuggling
- Weapons / Firearms Smuggling
- Child Pornography / Hate Propaganda
- Alcohol Smuggling
- Tobacco Smuggling
- Commercial / Trade Fraud
- Goods - Misrepresentation
- Goods - Smuggling
- Goods - Undervaluation
- Persons involved in Human / International Rights violations
- Persons involved in human smuggling or trafficking
- Foreign Nationals with criminality in or outside of Canada
- Persons working without authorization
- Persons studying without authorization
- Persons who have overstayed their status in Canada
- Persons who have entered Canada based on misrepresentation (false declaration and/or document fraud)
- Persons who are wanted by the CBSA (subject to a warrant for their arrest or can be currently listed on the Wanted by the CBSA List) or have been previously deported from Canada.
What kind of information are we looking for?
As a guidance, we are interested in the following information:
WHO: Who is/was involved? (Name of individual/business, date of birth/approximate age, physical description of individual, including clothing worn)
WHAT: What is the suspicious activty?
WHEN: When will it/did it happen? (Date and time)
WHERE: Where will it/did it take place? (Address, approximate location, phone numbers)
HOW: How will it happen? (Car, boat, airplane or train, including description and license plate, mail, courrier)
Even if the suspicious activity has already occurred, reporting your suspicions can be an effective way of stopping future attempts.
Can I expect an update?
The Border Watch Line is required to comply with Canadian privacy legislation which prohibits the disclosure of personal information regarding a third party.
Therefore, the CBSA will not provide updates or follow-ups regarding any information submitted through the Border Watch Line.
If the information provided is false, could this lead to unnecessary searches or detentions of individuals?
No. All information received is thoroughly researched. If the information proves to be false, no action will be taken.
Will my submission be confidential?
The information provided is confidential. Border watch line submissions are anonymous . The information contained in the form you have completed will be as well. You are not required to give your name or phone number unless you choose to do so.
Can I call during certain hours?
Yes, the toll-free Border Watch Line 1-888-502-9060 is available from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), Monday to Friday, in both official languages within the United States and Canada.
Will the information I give be shared with anyone else, like the police?
The CBSA works in close partnership with law enforcement bodies, such as provincial and local police, as well as with other customs organizations around the world. If the information received is relevant to any of our partners, we may share it.
Will I get a reward for giving information?
The CBSA does not offer cash rewards for providing information.
How is this service different from the Crime Stoppers tip line or the RCMP National Security Information Network?
- Border Watch Line: deals specifically with suspicious cross border or immigration activities enforced by the Canada Border Services Agency.
- Crime Stoppers tip line: deals specifically with known or suspected criminal activities.
- RCMP National Security Information Network: deals specifically with information regarding national security.
How is this service different from the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) call centre?
The Border Watch Line does not provide information on immigration application status nor does it collect information on citizenship fraud or marriages of convenience for active applications, as they are enforced by IRCC.
If you need help with your application status or want to report citizenship fraud or a marriage of convenience for active applications, please contact the IRCC Call Centre directly at 1-888-242-2100.
- Date modified: