Canada is an amazing country but, as in any other place, there are dishonest people and scams. In this post we will talk about some common scams targeting immigrants and newcomers in Canada.
People guaranteeing that you will get a work visa should be seen as a red flag. The Government of Canada, through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), already warned the public about false claims like these from people who claim they are connected to the Government of Canada and can guarantee successful immigration to Canada.
It is important to highlight that immigration representatives do not have special connections with Canadian government officials and cannot guarantee you a visa. In fact, nobody can guarantee you a visa.
And remember: if what is being offered is too good to be true, it probably is.
In some cases scammers use social media to contact individuals directly and pretend to offer an easy path to immigrate to Canada. Individuals in different countries have already been the target of such scams, and have paid thousands of dollars to ghost consultants whose promises were all lies.
You can easily check if a consultant or immigration lawyer is licensed to represent you or offer immigration advice:
If they are not members in good standing, you should not hire them.
Imagine the following scenario: you are hired for a dream job in Canada, which will pay you a lot of money, with great benefits and chances to be promoted fast. But before you start, you are required to make a money deposit, or pay for your training or other work materials. This is a very common scam, and it usually targets anyone who is desperate for a job. In fact, according to CBC News, employment scams are on the rise in Canada. As of May 31, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre had received close to 2,000 reports about job scams. That’s more than in all of 2019, when there were 1,757 reported. And they are becoming more and more creative and sophisticated.
How to spot a job offer scam?
Firstly, it is illegal for any employer or recruiter to ask for cash or wages in exchange for a job offer, job offer letter or LMIA.
Secondly, always do your diligence to make sure it is a legitimate job offer – checking websites, contact information, e-mail addresses – before responding to it. Research the company to see if it is legitimate and gather as much information as possible about it as well as the recruiter, if possible.
In addition, there are some common red flags in these kind of scams, such as:
In addition to the scams described above, which target people who are in the process of immigration, unfortunately there are also several scams in Canada that target newcomers:
This scam happens more frequently in periods after personal taxes are due (the deadline for personal income tax is at the end of April). The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) as well as IRCC, does not ask for confirmation of personal information on the phone, nor do they contact you directly by email – instead they send an email notifying you that you have a new message to check on their site.
Instead, scammers call saying they need your personal and banking information to collect what you owe, and so they take all of your information, threaten saying that if the person does not pay what they owe they will be arrested or even deported -if they are not Canadian.
A person calls, saying they are an IRCC representative and that you are in an illegal situation in Canada (or need to update your status) and ask for personal information (bank account number, passport number, SIN number) or even payment of fees over the phone. This scam is easy to fall for as more than half of the Canadian population was not born here. This scam is also common via email, and it is always a good idea to be aware when clicking on email links. Usually when IRCC wants to get in touch, they will likely send an email, asking the person to log in to the website and read the correspondence. In addition, IRCC has a page on its website listing all types of common scams, and makes it clear that it does not contact people by phone in order to collect payments.
Another phone scam, similar to the CRA and IRCC scams. In this case, a generic bot voice supposedly from the Justice Department of your province will say that your SIN number has been flagged for fraudulent charges and ignoring the call can lead to legal consequences and even jail time. The scammers can even change the information that appears on the Caller ID display (a practice known as Caller ID spoofing). Don’t ever provide your personal information over the phone and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in case you receive a suspicious call.
A recording or bot says that you won a prize or a trip and in order to receive it you will have to pay a fee and/or submit your credit card information. Always suspect premiums you have to pay or if you do not remember having taken part in a lottery or giveaway trips. In this scam, gift cards are often requested as payments instead of account deposits.
To find more information regarding life in Canada and/or to start your immigration journey to Canada, make sure to join our free immigration portal here!