Beware of these immigration scams

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Immigration scams

  1. These are fake offers that provide “quick and easy” ways to immigrate.
  2. They take advantage of people who are eager to come to Canada.
  3. They can look genuine.
  4. They want to trick you to get money.

Examples of scams:

Nomination from the “Canada Immigration and Resettlement Bureau”

How it is done:

  1. A person receives an email about the “Canada Resettlement Provincial Nomination Program”.
  2. It will say that the person is a “nominee”. It will also say that he has been chosen to settle in Canada.
  3. The email is from the Canada Immigration and Settlement Bureau. This office does not exist.
  4. It is signed by a program coordinator. (See a copy here: Scam
  5. It will look like it is from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly CIC).
  6. It has a nomination code and ends with a “Legal Notice”.
  7. It targets applicants of the Provincial Nominee Program.
  8. It will not ask for money or personal information at first.
  9. It will ask you to email back.
  10. They will try to get your trust. They will get your information. Later they may ask for money.

Fake job/scholarship offers

  1. This scam has many types.
  2. They can be advertisements. You will find them on the internet or print.
  3. It will say: “Guaranteed visas and jobs in Canada”.
  4. Some look for workers. For example, teachers, cleaners or sales people. They promise a big salary.
  5. They can offer study visas and scholarships.
  6. Some offer a job. It will say that they are a Canadian company. Examples are Orange Farm, Flourish Hotel, Cathy Ranch and Farm in Quebec.
  7. Some send emails that guarantee work visa. They will ask for a big “processing fee”.
  8. Nobody can guarantee a visa or job in Canada.
  9. The Canadian government has no agreements with a private agency to give jobs or visas.
  10. Real employers will not ask for money in exchange for a job.
  11. Watch out for requests for payment of visa or placement fees. Do not agree to send money to a personal account.
  12. Check if the company is real before you deal with them.

Immigration agency “guaranteed visa”

  1. Travel agencies or “immigration representatives” offer to handle your application.
  2. They will ask for a large fee. They will say your visa is guaranteed.
  3. There are agencies and representatives that are authorized. But they don’t guarantee anything.
  4. You don’t need a representative to apply.
  5. Red flags to watch out for:
    • Guaranteed visa.
    • Guaranteed quick processing time.
    • High processing fees. They charge higher than Canadian visa offices.
    • The lawyer or immigration consultant is not a member of professional organizations.
    • No updates are given after payment is made.

What you should watch out for:

  1. Wrong grammar and spelling on the letter, ad or email.
  2. The email does not address you by name.
  3. The website or email address not similar with the company/agency name.
  4. The company’s email and website end in .com. The email and website address of government agencies in Canada end in or .ca.
  5. The name of the organization is different or familiar. But not exactly the name of the government agency.
  6. The offer is too good to be true.
  7. Everything is guaranteed.
  8. It will sound urgent. For example, Act now, this is a limited offer! or Respond immediately as the deadline is closing.
  9. It will ask for personal information like date of birth, passwords, and credit card information.

How to protect yourself:

  1. Research and learn about Canada’s immigration streams. Read 11 ways to immigrate to Canada and Applying for immigration in 7 steps.
  2. Never trust blindly. Go to the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada site to check information.
  3. Do not share personal or financial information online.
  4. Don’t open emails from people or organizations you don’t know.
  5. Don’t click links from unfamiliar emails.
  6. You don’t need a representative to apply for immigration.
  7. All application forms are free: forms and guides. They are easy to fill-out.
  8. You can have a representative if you need one.
  9. Go to Use of representatives before hiring one.
  10. Search the immigration company on the internet. Check if they are authorized.
  11. Read immigration online forums. Some victims of immigration scams post their experience to warn others.

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