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CAFC Bulletin: Immigration Scams

Person holding LAN phone

This bulletin was prepared to raise awareness with respect to various scams targeting New Canadians.

Extortion

A consumer receives a call where they are identified by name. The suspect claims to be with Immigration,Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)), and advises the victim that they have failed to complete or register certain immigration documents. Consequently, if the consumer does not pay fees immediately, they'll face deportation, loss of passport and citizenship.

Warning signs – How to protect yourself
  • Beware of unsolicited calls where you are asked to act urgently and can not to discuss with anyone.
  • IRCC does not contact clients via the telephone for the purpose of collecting fines to avoid deportation.
  • IRCC encourages individuals to pay fees through their bank or through payment options available on the website and does not request payments to be completed via pre-paid credit cards or through private money transfer services.
  • Prior to sending any funds, make contact with the IRCC in person or by telephone at 1-888-242-2100 to confirm that the request is legitimate.
  • Contact the IRCC call centre at 1-888-242-2100 and confirm information regarding your profile – don't trust your caller ID display.
Travel Visa

Beware of websites that offer services to fill out applications for a travel visa will promise to expedite the process of your application. These websites will offer quick and easy application process with a high percentage rate of approval. The services are offered with a fee over and above the cost of applying directly with the Government Agency. The consumer will be asked to provide personal information in order to fill out the application.

Warning signs – How to protect yourself
  • Verify that the organization you are dealing with is a legitimate business as well as its affiliation to the Government.
  • Read the terms and conditions as well as cancellation policies as there might be hidden fees.
  • Contact the consulate for your region to ask for information on obtaining a travel visa or to verify the legitimacy of a website.
  • For more information please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=1206&top=31
  • Be weary of who you’re sharing personal information with. Verify that you are dealing with a trusted source.
Employment

Fake ads are posted on the internet offering guaranteed work permits and high paying jobs in Canada. The fraudulent ads are posted stating there is minimal or no experience required. The suspect will ask the victim to pay fees via Money Service Business such as Western Union or Moneygram, e-transfer, Visa or Pre-Paid cards in order to process an application for the visa and work permit. Once moneys are sent, the suspect ceases contact with the victim.

Warning signs – How to protect yourself
  • Canadian visa offices will never ask for moneys to be deposited into a personal bank account or transfer money through money service business such as Western Union or Moneygram.
  • Beware of scams on the internet and fake websites. The official website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is www.cic.gc.ca.
  • Immigration representatives have no “special” connections with government officials and never guarantee you a visa.
  • You do not need to hire an immigration representative to apply for a Canadian visa.
  • If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!! Be vigilent, verify all information. To verify, contact Citizenship and immigrations Canada at www.cic.gc.ca.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca

This document is the property of the CAFC. It is loaned to your agency/department in confidence and it is not to be reclassified, copied, reproduced, used or further disseminated, in whole or part, without the consent of the originator. It is not to be used in affidavits, court proceedings or subpoenas or for any other legal or judicial purposes. This caveat is an integral part of this document and must accompany any information extracted from it.