How to Avoid Canadian Immigration Scams? (A Few Tips)
Canadian immigration scam is real. So many people have fallen victims, but you shouldn’t. That’s why you should read this.
“Even though we always had to pay in cash, we didn’t suspect anything. We all came from the Philippines. We had this blind faith and trusted they also wanted to help others to come here.” Those were the words of Agnes Aquino, a victim of a Canadian Immigration scam.
Agnes Aquino is one of the over 600 Philipines allegedly scammed by a Toronto woman known as Imelda “Mel” Fronda Saluma. Imelda reportedly made over $2 million from the over 73 cases of fraud that levelled against her.
The above is one of many other stories of Canadian immigration frauds. More often than not, most of these scams are perpetrated by those who pose as RCIC.
Nevertheless, before coming to the guide on choosing the right RCIC, here some generally helpful tips to help you avoid being a victim of immigration fraud.
Few Tips to Avoid Falling Victims to Immigration Scams
The email comes from a public email domain – For instance, @hotmail.com or @gmail.com. Legitimate and registered companies, especially governments, will never mail you using public email domains. This is the first red flag to look out for.
There appears to be a spelling error in the domain name. Scammers do this because they want you to think it’s coming from the legitimate domain, you know. For instance, they may use canadadiract.com instead of canadadirect.com. Spot the difference.
The email is usually written poorly – Look out for spelling and grammatical errors. Scammers are generally not native English speakers, so they copy official government documents to create the impression of authenticity. However, they make mistakes as they do not have the luxury of time and expertise to proofread.
A suspicious link or attachment – never open suspicious links from unknown emails. If there is a button you’re supposed to click, hover your mouse on it to see the address. If it’s on mobile, press and hold until a pop-up appears displaying the same information.
The email says you should pay urgently – scammers always try to prevent you from having more time to think about something or discuss with others. This is a major red flag.
Choosing an RCIC; 5 Questions you Should Ask to Avoid Being Scammed.
1. Are you registered with ICCRC? What is your registration number?
All Canadian immigration consultants are required to have the appropriate license to work as an immigration consultant. If your prospective consultant cannot prove that they are properly registered, you should avoid working with them.
Consultants are expected to have a valid RCIC number which shows they are registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). Once you get the number, you can verify their registration status on this page.
2. What is the cost of your services, and what is the payment structure?
Calculate the entire cost in your currency, and be sure it is affordable for you. Don’t forget that hiring a consultant is not mandatory. So, if the price will be too much for you, you can work on your application yourself.
You should also be mindful of really cheap consultants. If a consultant is offering you this service at a low price compared to the industry average, it may indicate fraud.
3. How long is our contract good for? Does it cover the whole immigration process?
Before signing a retainer contract, ensure how long it will last compared to your immigration program’s anticipated processing time.
For instance, if you prefer the spousal sponsorship stream of family class immigration, your application processing should last about 12 months or more from the date you submit your application. Hence, if your retainer is only for six months, you should know something is not right. Another question you can ask if you’ll get first an evaluation of your status by using a Canada pr points calculator, so you can choose if to go deep into the process or not.
4. Do you offer one-time consultations?
A one-time consultation allows you to schedule a meeting with the consultant to review your details and immigration requirements. Based on what you have, the consultant would recommend your best options and review each with you.
At this point, you can sign a retainer if you think you’d need help with the application.
Be cautious of consultants who try to force a single program on you or who cannot correctly convince you on why a program is the best for you.
5. What are my chances of success through this program?
The truth is no consultant can guarantee your success in any immigration program. If a consultant gives you a 100 percent guarantee of success, that’s the type of consultant you should avoid.
Nevertheless, a consultant will give you an idea of your chances before entering an agreement with them. This is especially important to you if you want to apply through Express Entry. Express Entry is very competitive. So, even if you meet the program’s eligibility requirements, it does not guarantee your success in obtaining the work permit, visa or study permit, as the case may be.