Considering the Canadian government is looking to immigrants to help with its aging population and economy, you may think it’s a great time to migrate. You would be right in thinking that, and so, you may choose to get some assistance from an immigration website.
Unfortunately, not all the so-called consultants out there are real. In hearing this, you may wonder “how can I tell if an immigration website is a scam?” For the most part, it’s all about being able to identify the signs. Here are some of the most common ones.
1. Charging Money for Application Forms and Guides
Don’t get this wrong. An immigration website is still a service provider, which means that there will be a charge for the service. However, this is different from a charge that’s based on getting the application forms and guides.
The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) makes these available for free. If you were to attempt to apply directly, you wouldn’t pay anything until you get to the processing stage.
Similarly, a consultant would be charging you for the assistance provided in getting you through the application and settling processes. If you notice you’re being charged just to access forms and guides, you’re dealing with a scam site.
2. Unsecure State of the Website
Reputable companies try to keep everything as legitimate as possible, and this will include their websites. When site pages are unsecure, it allows third parties to capture information from your browsing session.
While this is not the biggest danger in the world if you’re just scrolling around, the moment you start entering personal and payment information, you could get compromised very quickly.
Secure sites will typically feature “https://” before the URL, as well as a padlock icon to let you know that SSL certificate security is present. In other words, your browsing session is being protected from that kind of compromise.
Bear in mind that some scam sites will secure their pages, so you can’t use this in isolation.
3. Use of a Non-domain E-mail Address
Businesses will also take the time to set up domain-based e-mail addresses along with websites. That’s why you’ll often notice that the website name in the URL will often be the same as the last section of the e-mail address.
For example, if you were to visit canadianvisaexpert.com, you will notice that any e-mail address you correspond with will end with canadianvisaexpert.com.
If you see companies using gmail.com, yahoo.com, outlook.com, or other address types that individuals tend to use, it’s often an indicator that someone is trying to scam you.
4. Presentation of Unrealistic Guarantees
There is no doubt that reputable consultants are very good at what they do. You will typically find that working with one improves your chances of being successful in your endeavor to immigrate and start your life in Canada.
Notice the verbiage used was “improves your chances.” Realistically, that’s all knowledge and expertise can do for you. The service is meant to assist you, but the Canadian government still gets the final say where approval is concerned.
Furthermore, unless the consultant is the one hiring you, it’s not possible to guarantee you employment either.
Therefore, you want to be wary of promises that sound too good to be true. These will often take the form of guarantees that you will surely be approved and find employment.
5. Questionable Contact Information Present
You could expand this to company information too. If you’re reaching out, and you can’t get to anyone or the contact information given doesn’t even seem to exist, that is a huge red flag.
Similarly, you should be able to look up the information on the site using a search engine and be able to confirm the location and contact details.
Consultants want to help you, so the last thing they would do is make it difficult to reach out to them. If you’re encountering this kind of problem, you’re very likely dealing with a scam site.
How Do You Deal with Fraudulent Immigration Companies?
Of course, if you should come across a fraudulent site, don’t engage or try to do business with it. Instead, you can make a report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre about your discovery.
Which Company Can You Work with to Avoid Fake Immigration Consultants?
The whole point of bringing a consultant into the mix is getting expertise to help you navigate the immigration landscape since it is a tall order to pull off on your own.
If you want a great recommendation, consider working with Canadian Visa Expert, which is a legitimate Canadian immigration consultant.
Since 2012, through above-board consultancy services, the company has been able to offer step-by-step guidance and eligibility assessments which are crucial in what can be a complicated immigration procedure.
With that said, you’re now better informed on how to avoid scam sites, and you even have a great recommendation for the kind of Canadian immigration experts you want in your corner.