Popular Canadian Immigration Phishing Scams
April 1, 2021
The term ‘phishing’ comes from the good old, innocent English word fishing. Casting out a bait, and if you get a bite there may be a reward for you in the form of a fish. Unlike in the merry and relaxing pastime of real time fishing however, internet ‘phishers’ send out their bait in the form of an email or website that makes promises they do not plan on keeping in order to steal your information and even your money. Phishing is defined as a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an email. Some may copy trustworthy sites and impersonate a representative from that organization, for example the Immigration and Refugee Council of Canada (IRCC), others pretend to be immigration consultants by copying successful immigration companies such as our own. Here are some tips on what to look out for when you receive an email from an immigration company or the IRCC, that could help you identify if a hacker is really behind the face of the seemingly real communication with a potential visa scam.
Emails Directly From Immigration OfficersThe IRCC or MDC will never
- email you to confirm the personal application on any form you submit
- ask for credit card information to collect payment via email
- send you your visa, work permit, permanent residency certificate or immigration documents via email
- Offer you any form of special or time sensitive offer for a visa, work permit ot citizenship status.
- the email is unexpected, meaning unsolicited
- if it comes from a private email address or free to use online email service like gmail or yahoo
- The email uses a standard greeting such as Dear Customer or Dear Client instead of your real name
- the email asks you to update or confirm any personal information in response, especially pertaining to your date of birth, password and credit card or baking details
- A threatening tone is used, such as stating quick action is required to prevent negative consequences regarding your application
- A special immigration or citizenship offer is being promoted that sounds too good to be true. Visa and immigration application processing has standard set prices. Services performed by independent consultants such as RCIC’s can be offered at varying prices, such as the eligibility assessment.
- the link in the email takes you to an insecure site
- there is an attachment you were not forewarned about byt the IRCC or your Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)
- if the bulk of the message is in an image instead of regular text, stop right there