Lawyers providing immigration assistance

Email and Internet Scams

Be wary of fake websites and email scams asking for your personal information or leading you to believe that they are official! Fraud artists have a lot of imagination and their actions may result in identity theft, fraud or thefts from your bank account or your credit card and even computer viruses!

Fake emails
Email scams may come in all kinds of forms—for example, an email that seems to be sent from a legitimate company and asks you to provide personal information (date of birth, passwords, information about your credit card, etc.) or that contains a link to a fake website asking you for such personal information.

Moreover, the email may appear to come from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and offer special immigration deals in exchange for personal information. Take note that the CIC will never send you an email asking you to provide personal information.

Remember that no one can guarantee you a job or a Canadian visa, and that visa processing fees are the same all over the world. Only authorized officers at Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates can decide whether or not to issue a visa. Besides, the CIC doesn't send visas by email.

If the email comes unexpectedly and from a free webmail address (Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo, for instance) or if the message is an image rather than a text, it is highly likely that the email is a scam. If you receive this type of email, don't click on any links and don't provide any information about yourself. If you have any doubts about the sender, directly contact the Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission in your city.

Fake websites
It is easy for criminals to copy a real website or set one up that seems very professional. Some of these sites may even claim to be official government websites. Other websites may claim to offer special immigration deals or high-salary jobs in order to convince people to forward them money. Some of these websites may also try and obtain your personal information to steal your identity.

If the website claims to represent an immigrant aid organization offering special deals for potential immigrants, beware! Don't pay for guaranteed entry into Canada or for faster processing of your application. Such claims are false.

If you have any doubts about a website, directly contact the website owner, either by phone or by email, before doing anything else, and do a search on the Internet to find out whether other people have reported a problem with a website. Don't give anyone your personal information unless you are sure you know with whom you are dealing.

Find out first!
Before dealing with a company or an individual, do a search on the Internet to see whether other people have had problems with that company or person. And if you decide to hire an immigration representative, find out about people who can legally represent you. Read the advice on Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website for more information on such people.

Further details on email and Internet scams may be found in the section about fraud on Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website.

© Barreau du Québec 2013-