Immigration fraud can come in all sizes and shapes. It's an illegal profitable 'business' that preys on the people looking for better lives abroad. It's better to arm yourself with the knowledge of detecting scams and know whether the immigration agency is fake or real.
Immigration fraud is a real thing that permanent residents and citizens are wary of. Immigration-related frauds and scams are a common occurrence, and individuals target foreign nationals in an attempt to obtain personal information or money. Foreign nationals must take precautions to avoid becoming victim of immigration fraud.
Types of Immigration Fraud
It's illegal to marry someone to gain entry into a country. As a citizen and permanent resident, a person can sponsor their common-law partner to immigrate to the country. If it's someone whom you have just met over the internet and know little about, you may want to reconsider the decision. 'Marriage of convenience is another type of marriage fraud when both parties agree on deceiving the IRCC.
Internet, Email and Telephone Scams
Email, internet, and telephone scams are the most common immigration fraud and visa scams known. These include unsolicited emails with spam links, fake messages, SMSs that claim you won a visa, and phone calls from fake immigration consultants.
"We Can Guarantee Your Visa"
No immigration agency can guarantee a visa, and they cannot guarantee the visa; it's not up to them whether it gets approved or denied. Only the government has that authority.
Verify Your Consultants Registration Number
Only authorized immigration consultants can legally assist clients with visa and immigration applications to other countries. Verify the registration number of the immigration consultant on the ICCRC website before you pay for the services for yourself.
Fake Prizes and Easy Jobs
If you get a text message or a phone call that says you won a visa or something is enticing, it is probably a scam. Fake immigration and recruitment agencies promise you a job at a price.
COVID - 19 Fraud
Scammers are taking advantage of COVID-19 communications by disguising the scams as messages about the virus. They appear in the form of travel or visa announcements that require you to perform actions like paying for medical fees before your visa. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 scams is to educate yourself by consulting your immigration consultant and going directly to the government website for information.
How can you protect yourself?
- Watch out for deceptive lottery websites: Foreign nationals must be aware that the only authorized DV lottery website is on the State Department website that does not use any company or individual to accept lottery applications or operate the lottery.
- You may receive an email or a phone call from someone who purports to be an U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official. The individual may claim a problem with your immigration records and demand information or money. These are fraudulent calls. If you receive a call claiming the same, protect yourself.
- Do not forward funds. The USCIS and IRS never solicit payment via email or telephone. Be suspicious of a caller who demands the money through payment methods such as store gift cards.
- Do not provide personal and sensitive information over the phone. Do not confirm or provide personal information, such as birth date, Social Security Number, I-94 number, or your passport number, unless you are sure that you are speaking with a government official.
- Beware of misleading caller ID information. Displaying the caller ID as "911," "U.S. Immigration," or "USCIS," is another scam and scheme of fraudulent activity.
- Do not succumb to threats. The scammers may send follow-up emails or calls claiming to be from the Department of Motor Vehicles or local police. These are illegitimate threats.
- Check if the job offer is legitimate. Some people pose as recruiters and immigration representatives and may put forward offers of employment in other countries. Individuals who receive a job offer suspect the fraudulence and are encouraged to consult a third party to ask for proof and check websites and information to ensure it is valid and real.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT A FRAUD
- After filing a complaint with appropriate authorities, monitor your credit report and credit card accounts if you have already transferred funds or provided personal information.
- Inform your employer's immigration representative or human resource.
- You must contact the appropriate government agency to file a report.
By providing detailed information and creating websites that display a reasonable job offer and names of real people are stolen. The same is true in the case of the immigration consultants assigned to them. Their identities appear legitimate, but they are copied from those of real online profiles of immigration consultants. They use and refer to legitimate country government agencies and companies. Everything done by the fraudsters is to make people believe that the information is true and gain the trust of their potential victims. The phenomenon of immigration fraud is not new and similar fraud networks have been reported in the past. The country's immigration department has issued warnings about immigration fraud for many years to raise public awareness to crack down on fraudulent immigration representatives.