Immigration Fraud Alert! It Can Happen to You! Tips to Safeguard Yourself from Being Scammed
Immigration fraud is an unfortunate reality, and it is growing day by day. Over the past few years, there has been a steep increase in a number of people choosing to migrate to another country for personal and professional reasons. Looking at the current scenario, the omnipresent threat of immigration frauds became even more rampant, thus bringing more aspirants and their dreams into the clutches of scammers.
Every now and then, we hear so many stories from victims on how they were being overcharged for work that’s not even done or how their documents were misrepresented or misused by consultants who were actually fake.
Immigration fraud isn’t a trivial issue. It is expensive and disruptive; therefore, it is extremely important to prevent it before it happens and protect yourself from being cheated on your immigration application.
The watch word is “Always Prevent”!!
The majority of immigration scammers take an unduly advantage of a client’s eagerness to move to Canada, and therefore, offer them quick and easy ways to migrate to Canada- for example, a guaranteed job.
Remember that no legitimate immigration lawyer or consultant can guarantee you a job or a provincial nomination. Only immigration officers in Canada or provincial governments can do so. And, it’s up to Canadian embassies or high commissions can decide whether to issue a visa or not.
Different Types of Immigration Scams You Should Be Aware of
You Receive an Unsolicited Email
This kind of emails look like real but they are actually fake. Email spoofing is quite common among scammers, where they claim to offer you an employment or represent themselves as Canadian government officials. Many clients receive this kind of email communications, so it’s a red flag.
To detect spoofing, read the message carefully and look for the placement of unnecessary hyperlinks, and the usage of incorrect grammar in the entire message.
What you should know:
- No provincial nominee asks you to change your spam settings.
- No federal immigration officer or a PNP staff member bombards you to multiple emails or request letters.
Fake job offers, LMIAs, or scholarships
As mentioned above already, no consultant or immigration agent can guarantee you a valid job offer, LMIA or scholarships from Canada. It is completely illegal to give such promises in exchanges for a huge amount of money from aspirants.
What you should know:
- No immigration agency has special tie ups with the Canadian or provincial government to help candidates secure job offers from Canadian employers.
- No immigration representative is authorized to ask for personal account information in the name of “visa fee” or “security deposit”.
- Another sign of fraud comes when an immigration agent tells you that they have special agreements with the Canadian government or links with Canadian companies, in reality these companies do not exist.
Be aware of Telephone Scams
Phone scams are yet another cause of concern in the immigration industry. While online scams continue to rise in the high-tech digital world, there are still plenty of scammers who manage con innocent victims through phones.
What you should know:
- No Canadian government official calls you directly in any stage of the application
- Immigration consultants can contact clients over call to give some information in regards to the process.
- No authorized representative will ask you for any sort of payment over phone
Action Points-How to identify inherent fraud risk?
- Identify the legitimacy of your source by researching about visa pathways through which you can migrate to Canada.
- In case of any doubt, gather information only from government websites.
- Do not open emails or attend phone calls which may seem suspicious. If in case, you come across any fraudulent website, immediately close it and do not click anywhere else on the website.
- Never share any personal or financial information on a website, unless it is secured with an ‘https://’ written at the beginning of the web address.
- Do a thorough research on agents or consultancy claiming to provide you a job offer in Canada. Take help from the internet, read reviews or check client testimonials before handing over your case to them.
- Make sure the company’s website is updated with the latest information through news, blogs or articles.
- Choose a representative who is willing to provide you each and every detail related to his/her firm, and make it clear that whatever email communication you receive, it will only from the Canadian immigration officials.
Hopefully, armed with this knowledge, you will be in a better position to choose the right consultant for your immigration application. It will also help you tackle the situation if you find something suspicious or too good to be true.