In the day and age of social media it’s easier than ever to produce, and share fake immigration scams that seem so legitimate it can dupe even the most tech-savvy users.
If it’s your dream to live in Canada and you need the assistance of a legitimate visa and immigration agency, you may have to put on your investigation hat because there are many companies who claim to be who they aren’t. In this blog, we share key red flags that suggest you may be dealing with a fraudulent company and how to avoid them!
Social Phishing - Don’t Fall for the Bait
You’ve heard the phrase; “slipping into my DM’s”. In this case, it’s not a love interest, but rather a fraudulent company that sends victims direct messages, playing on their emotions with false promises, gifts or special offers.
The link in the post takes you to a website that requests personal information or it causes your computer to get infected with malware that sends out messages from your profile to your entire contact list. And here’s where it gets even sneakier - since the messages that individuals receive are from someone they know and trust, they end up clicking on the link, which can cause them to inadvertently download malware. This type of immigration scam occurs most frequently on Facebook but is not limited to the platform.
Short Links - Stay Vigilant
Short links are widely used nowadays for the simple reason of making long trackable links look neat, and it saves some space on a Tweet for example. The only problem? You’ll never know where you are being directed to because URL shorteners hide the full website address.
Although link shorteners are not a definite red flag that you are dealing with a fraudulent company, you still want to double-check if the website address you are being directed to is safe and here’s how:
For shortened links, you can use the “preview” function. If you enter the shortened bit.ly URL in your browser with a “+” at the end, it will report back information about the site that the shortened link leads to, for example:
You can also copy and paste the address of the website to which the shortened link points, into getlinkinfo.com and see what the result is.
Social Media Presence - Is It Just a Front?
Nowadays, there really is no excuse to not have a social media presence. Good companies who care about their clients and following usually have engaging social media posts that aim to educate about their products or services. If a company is not active on social media or doesn't reply to your direct messages we suggest you tread carefully - it can also be a direct reflection of their overall service. Besides that, it’s good to check for any reviews or complaints in comments, tagged images and Facebook review sections.
Lastly, make sure the social media links actually work. For example, some scam websites will link to facebook.com instead of facebook.com/COMPANYNAME.
Fake News - When It’s Too Good to Be True
Immigration scams in the form of fake news are not a new occurrence. Here are a few fake news headlines that have made the rounds on social media in the past three years:
- Canada Prime Minister orders Parliament to approve visa-free entry for Fijians.
- Canada’s Prime Minister begs Philippines President for one million immigrants.
- Canada to take in 3 million immigrants in 2020
- Canadian visa lottery. Win and migrate with four relatives.
Some of these fake articles and blogs have been shared more than 6000 times, circulating the web and social media pages of vulnerable clients who fall for the hoaxes and are duped out of a lot of money.
Before sharing any of your personal information with a Canadian immigration agency, verify their credentials on the Immigration Consultants of Canada’s Regulatory Council (ICCRC) website. Each accredited agency should have licensed professionals, like Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are trusted by the Canadian Government to legally help you with your visa and immigration application.
Avoid Immigration Scams - Choose Wisely
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the process of acquiring a visa to live in Canada is not a quick, and easy process and a visa can definitely not be won or bought. You have to meet the eligibility requirements of the visa category you are interested in and then apply with the correct documentation.
At CanadianVisa.Org, we have a fully licensed, knowledgeable and experienced team of RCICs who can assist you in your journey to Canada - whether you want to work, study in/or immigrate to Canada.
So, let us take care of the fine print 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.