Canadian immigration scams are broad and dangerous. People who have learnt the power of the internet take advantage of its resources to pose as government officials and scare unknowing victims into parting with significant sums of money. The immigration fraud we are looking at in this blog is one that potential Canadian immigratrion applicants must be aware of from the very beginning of their application process until well after they have successfully immigrated to Canada. It is a simple enough one to look out for, just know the signs and what to do if it touches you.
Scammers Posing as Officials
It doesn’t matter where you are in your application, whether you are still in your home country or are already living and working in Canada, if these criminals get a sniff of your intention to immigrate, they will target your fears and extort money from you.
If you have begun your immigration application, whether on your own or with the help of a representative, never indulge anyone you haven’t had previous communications with who sends you an email or makes a phone call. Look out for these warning signs in unsolicited emails:
- The email originates from a public email domain - examples are @gmail.com or @hotmail.com; legitimate companies, especially governments, will never use public email domains. Always look at the email address, not just the sender. So it may say Canadian Immigration but the email address will reveal it’s authenticity to a degree.
- The domain name is misspelled - this builds on the last sign. Scammers will spoof an email address so it looks legitimate. It will vary only slightly from the actual address, it’s up to you to investigate and look for discrepancies.
- The email is poorly written - even if English isn’t your first language, look out for spelling mistakes, unofficial sounding wording and most of all incoherent sentences (words in the wrong order). Scammers often aren’t native English speakers themselves and copy official government documents in an effort to create the image of authenticity, but they will make mistakes, as unlike official government documents, they don’t have English graduates triple proofreading their work
- A suspicious attachment or link - never open an unsolicited link, and if there is a button for you to click on which will shed further light on the situation, hover your mouse over the button and the address will be revealed, which will likely be some complicated scam address. On a mobile device, hold down on the link until a pop-up appears revealing the same information.
- If the email demands payment as a matter of urgency - the longer you have to think about something, talk to others about it, get advice and do research is bad for scammers. They want to create a sense of panic. Immigration scammers will always claim payment must be made urgently to avoid your application being denied or worse.
A very popular scam aimed at new Canadian residents is a phone call from someone, who now even has the ability to fake caller ID so it appears to come from a credible source, who will pose as a government official. They will identify their target by name and claim they are with the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship, Canada (IRCC). Naturally, the victim must pay a large sum to the government urgently to avoid their status being revoked or legal action being taken against them.
Despite what the scammers pitch may be, always remember that no one from the IRCC will call you to collect fees or fines. If you are ever scared or coerced into making a payment, always hang up the call. You can then contact the IRCC at 1-888-242-2100 to verify the identity of the person that just called you and check your own status. Payments made to the IRCC in respect of your application are always done through a bank or on the federal department’s website. No one from the Canadian government would EVER ask you to make a payment through prepaid credit cards, money transfer service or iTunes gift cards.
How a Consultant Can Help
By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only improve your chances of success in the visa application process, but you won’t have to worry about being scammed. Our RCICs are highly qualified and are granted permission by the ICCRC to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms and submit them to the Canadian government for you. They will inform you exactly how much is due, when, and be your first point of contact if you receive any phishy emails. They will assist you from the moment you sign up for their services until you are firmly on Canadian soil with your Certificate of Permanent Residency in hand.
We take care of the fineprint while you choose your dream destination in Canada for you and your loved ones. All you have to do is complete our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. It's just that simple.
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