To avoid email scams, remember that IRCC NEVER:
- emails applicants to confirm basic personal information provided on application forms.
- asks for banking or credit card information to collect payments by email.
- see how to pay your fees to find out how IRCC collects payments.
- sends visas, permits, certificates or immigration documents by email.
- offers special, time-limited promotions or cash deals to get visas, permits or citizenship status.
The email you received might be a scam or a phishing scheme if:
- you did not expect the email.
- it is from a private address or a free Web mail address (e.g. Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or Gmail) and not from a government of Canada “gc.ca” email account.
- the email uses a standard greeting such as “Dear customer/client” instead of your real name.
- the sender asks you to “update”, “validate” or “confirm” your personal information, such as your date of birth, password, credit card or bank details.
- you are told that your quick action is required to prevent negative consequences such as your application being cancelled or your account suspended.
- the email promotes a special immigration or citizenship offer that sounds too good to be true.
- the links in the email claim to bring you to a secure site, yet you are redirected to a commercial or fake site that is not IRCC’s site or a Government of Canada website.
- it contains an attachment that you did not request.
- the message is an image instead of text.
Common IRCC email practices
- The address is from an @cic.gc.ca account.
- The email is usually from a do not reply account.
- Reply instructions are included in the email.
- For example, if you are asked to submit additional documents, you will be instructed not reply to the email. Instead, you will have to follow the instructions included in the email to submit the requested documents.
- IRCC encourages applicants to use the IRCC Web form to better track correspondence about applications in progress.
- For online applications, IRCC sends emails to applicants through their accounts.
- After you contact the IRCC Call Centre, the agent might send you an email with more information regarding your question.
- This email will be from “Citizenship_And_Immigration_Canada” and the subject title will be “Request for information.”
- The email will be signed by the agent you spoke with. You cannot reply to this email.
If you received a suspicious email, do not reply to it. You can also report the incident to:
- your local police, and
- the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.