It is a New Year, which means there will inevitably be new scams targeting immigrants and their loved ones. According to news reports, the influx of thousands of Syrian refugees into Canada will likely result in a surge of fraudulent immigration-related activity.
According to the National Post, a new type of scam starts out as a phone call from someone purporting to be from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which is now known as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The callers frequently demand money and threaten deportation unless the victim does not agree to send a money order immediately. In one case, a scammer threatened to kidnap a woman’s daughter if she did not wire funds.
Protecting Yourself from Scams
Although many immigration fraud schemes take place over the phone, they can also occur online, through the regular mail, or via fax. In most cases, immigration officials will never contact an individual unsolicited. With this in mind, here are several tips to remember:
- Immigration officers never ask anyone to wire or transfer money
- Immigration officers never offer discounts or special offers to people looking to immigrate to Canada
- If an offer sounds too good to be true, it is most likely a scam
- Be wary of fake websites. It is very easy for individuals to create a website that mimics official government sites. Never click on a website link you receive in an email claiming to be from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Instead, go directly to the official website and log in using regular procedures.
- Unless you have an open immigration case, it is unlikely you would be contacted by an immigration official. If you receive a phone call, hang up and contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada directly
If you believe you have been contacted by an immigration scammer, report it to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and contact your immigration lawyer.
Butkowsky Immigration Law
With more than two decades of experience focused exclusively on immigration and refugee law, Larry Butkowsky has earned the respect of the Toronto legal community and the gratitude of many satisfied clients. He is committed to protecting his clients’ rights and making sure that they achieve their Canadian immigration dreams. Call (416) 979-2127 to discuss your immigration matters.