March is Fraud Prevention Month. We will post a series of articles helping you find out how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of immigration fraud. Today, let’s take a look at how to identify fake websites, emails and telephone calls.
Who can decide to issue you a visa?
Only immigration officers from one of the four below can decide whether to issue a visa:
- in Canada
- at Canadian embassies
- at Canadian consulates
- at Canadian high commissions
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) employees will
- NEVER ask you to deposit money into a personal bank account
- NEVER ask you for any sort of payment by telephone
- NEVER ask you to transfer money through private money transfer service
- NEVER threaten you
- NEVER offer special deals to people who want to immigrate or
- NEVER use free email services, such as Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo Mail to contact you
- NEVER send you an email asking for your personal information.
- NEVER issue visas by email
An email is scam if
- it’s sent from a free Web mail address (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.), instead of the “gc.ca” or “Canda.ca” email account.
- The message in the email is an image instead of text.
- If it asks for your personal information.
Identify fake websites
- IRCC’s official website (English version) is: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship.html. Visitez le site en français: https://www.canada.ca/fr/services/immigration-citoyennete.html.
- Do NOT enter private information unless there is a padlock in the browser window.
- Beware of websites advertised in emails from strangers that you didn’t ask for.
- The word “guarantee” is a big red flag. Remember NO ONE can guarantee you a job or a visa to Canada.
- If a website seems wrong to you, do a web search to see if anyone else has reported it as a scam.
- If you get a suspicious call, hang up right away and contact your local police to report it. You may also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Word of the Day:Padlock: a lock that hangs on an object by a hook