How Can You Tell if an Immigration Agency is Real or Fake
MAY 4, 2020
Lately, two major developments have given online immigration scammers incentive to pursue potential Canadian immigrants as targets for their immigration scams. Knowing how to tell if an immigration agency’s web page is real or fake will save you time, money and embarrassment. The first is the rise in interest in getting a Canadian visa. The result of this is scammers setting up copycat websites; sometimes they will steal entire web page designs, other times they will cherry-pick vital parts of a website to lend their site false legitimacy, such as stealing the credentials of legitimate company’s Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants. The second is because many countries are on lockdown, a rise in online activity is inevitable. People are visiting more sites, services are being moved online and while the jump will prove beneficial in the long run, there are inevitably going to be scammers taking advantage of it in its infant stages.
How to Spot if a Canadian Visa Company is a Scam or Real
First Things First!Make sure the web page is secure. This is very easy to check, look for a small lock icon in the top left corner of the web address bar, usually next to the web address itself. The code on secure websites is encrypted; this means sensitive information, such as your payment details, cannot be traced. Obtaining a secure status (SSL certificate) requires a lot of work and verification from a company, which is why scammers skip this step. For one they wouldn’t get an SSL certificate, and secondly, it requires spending time and money, which is something they want to steal not give.
https not httpThis is the same principle as the above warning sign, cybercriminals will put ‘http’ in front of their web pages to make them appear legit, don’t be duped. The https is further proof that the website has an SSL certificate which protects users private information from scammers.
Contact InformationContact information such as a telephone number or email address being freely available on a web page is usually a good sign of reliability. In the immigration world that is not always the case. Immigration scammers will use Whatsapp or generic email addresses to build trust and extract information and money from people.
- Beware of an ‘immigration expert’ that asks you for payments via Whatsapp, professional consultants would never do that.
- Look out for unsolicited emails, especially those from generic free to use platforms such as gmail.com or hotmail.com