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Canada Immigration Fraud And Cyber-Security: Newcomers Need To Be Informed

By cvf, 09/05/2023

With Canada targeting 465,000 new immigrants this year, rising to 500,000 within two years, fraudsters will believe they have fertile ground to execute some common scams.

Canada immigration candidates and newcomers are urged to stay alert to the fact that unscrupulous individuals will try and take advantage of their desire to move here.

This article looks to highlight some of the common scams, how to spot them and how to avoid becoming a victim. As an immigration candidate, it may be the most important article you read.

1) The Phishing Email

This is one of the most frequently used fraud attempts.

Scammers send out emails claiming to be from a certain immigration office and ask for some kind of fee to continue with an application.

These group emails are usually sent to random recipients, meaning members of the public who have never had any need for immigration services can receive the message.

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The scammers are hoping to catch one or two candidates for whom the email might seem realistic.

Such emails used to be easy to spot because of their poor grammar or tone that lacked authenticity. But the scammers are catching on to this and making the messages more professional, so beware.

Ontario released the following advice on how to spot a fraudulent email:

  • No Certificate of Nomination will ever be emailed to you by the OINP.
  • The contact telephone and fax number on the certificate contain a 708 area code. This is not an area code used in Ontario and is not connected to the OINP in any way.
  • The false nomination certificate refers to the CIC Visa Office. The federal government has changed the name of the department that deals with Canadian immigration. It is now called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • You will never be asked to make a payment to the OINP through a wire transfer, and you will never be asked to pay a ‘Right of Permanent Residence Fee’. Applicants to the OINP pay a one-time upfront administration fee to the program, through the online system, and do not pay for a nomination certificate when and if it is granted.

2) The Phone Call

Much like the email scam, phone fraudsters will call and claim to be from a certain Canadian immigration office. Examples have seen scammers attempt to imitate officials from the federal IRCC.

They will dress up the conversation in all kinds of official-sounding language, before eventually getting around to some kind of request for payment.

The IRCC has issued the following advice:

  • We will not telephone you to collect money or payments. We may sometimes contact clients by telephone to get more information to continue processing an application, or to ask for more documents.
  • We will NEVER ask you for any sort of payment by telephone.
  • We also will not ask you to confirm basic personal information that you already gave us on an application form (for example, your date of birth, passport number, etc.).
  • People can use telephone scams to steal your money or identity. We take strict measures to keep your information confidential.
  • You should be very careful of scams asking for details like your credit card, bank account or passport numbers, and any other types of personal information.


3) The Fake Immigration Website

It does not take much for a dedicated fraudster to copy a website, or create one that looks a lot like the official IRCC portal.

Often, they will also put out phoney internet ads design to drive traffic to their site, promising faster processing for immigration applications, or guaranteeing passage to Canada.

The simple rule here is: do not trust anything that sounds too good to be true. Processing times have nothing to do with anyone except case officers at the IRCC. And no-one is guaranteed a successful application.

The IRCC has the following advice:

  • If the website claims to offer special deals to people who want to immigrate, don’t deal with them. Do not pay for offers of guaranteed entry into Canada or faster processing of your application. These claims are false.
  • Check the address in your browser’s address bar when you land on a website. It should match the address you typed.

Here are some other ways to protect yourself:

  • Never enter private information unless there is a padlock in the browser window or ”https://” at the beginning of the web address to show it is secure.
  • If a website seems wrong to you, do a web search to see if anyone has reported any problems with that site.
  • Make sure your browser is up-to-date. Browser filters can help detect fake websites.
  • Beware of websites advertised in emails from strangers that you did not ask for.
  • Don’t give out personal information unless you are sure you know whom you are dealing with.
  • If in doubt, contact the website owner by telephone or email before you do anything.

4) Charging For A Job Offer

A bona fide job offer will never come without an interview. In certain cases, scammers will guarantee a job offer and ask for a fee for the service. This is illegal in many Canadian jurisdictions.

Fraudsters know a job offer can be a key element of a Canadian immigration application. Often a paid-for job offer will never materialize, or if the authorities find out about it, the candidate’s case will be immediately rejected.

If you are a genuine candidate looking for a job in Canada, you can access our expert recruitment services.

Understanding the Cyber-Threat Landscape in Canadian Banking

While Canada’s financial system ranks among the world’s most stable and secure, no country is entirely immune to the perils of cyber threats. Cybercriminals continuously evolve their tactics, making it essential for individuals to remain vigilant and well-informed.

1) Ground Zero: Digital Banking Basics

a. Crafting Strong Passwords: This remains the first line of defence. A blend of letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and special symbols that aren’t easily deducible can deter unauthorized access.

b. The 2FA Advantage: Most Canadian banks offer Two-Factor Authentication. This second layer of verification, often a code sent via SMS or an app, drastically reduces the chances of account breaches.

c. Vigilant Monitoring: Regularly peruse account statements and online transaction histories. Prompt detection of discrepancies can be crucial for rapid redressal.

2) The Phishing Menace: Recognize, Resist, Report

Phishing, wherein scammers masquerade as trustworthy entities, remains a predominant cyber threat.

a. Email Red Flags: Emails urging urgent action, having misspellings, or requesting personal data should ring alarm bells. Verify sender email addresses meticulously.

b. Direct Confirmation: Receiving a questionable communication? Always use official channels to verify its authenticity, bypassing any contact details provided in the suspicious message.

3) Mobile Banking: Harnessing Convenience Safely

a. Trust Only Official Apps: Limit your downloads to official app stores. Third-party platforms can host malicious applications disguised as legitimate banking apps.

b. The Shield of Updates: Regularly updated operating systems and apps provide fortified defenses against emerging threats.

c. Device Security: Employ PINs, biometrics, or pattern locks to prevent unauthorized device access.

BMO has a range of Digital Banking tools that can help boost online safety and ensure customers avoid cybersecurity threats.

Are you an employer looking to hire foreign workers in Canada? Immigration.ca can help through its sister company, skilledworker.comWe provide a comprehensive recruitment package to help you identify and hire the best individuals from abroad. Contact us now.

4) The Perils of Public Networks

Public Wi-Fi, often insecure, can be a playground for cybercriminals.

a. Abstain from Banking: Refrain from accessing bank accounts or conducting transactions on public networks.

b. The VPN Safety Net: If unavoidable, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt your data, ensuring a safer transaction environment.

5. Deposit Insurance: The Government’s Protective Umbrella

The Canadian government, recognizing the importance of customer confidence in the banking sector, has instituted deposit insurance through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Here’s what newcomers need to know:

a. The Coverage: CDIC insures eligible deposits up to CAD $100,000 per insured category at each member institution. This includes savings accounts, chequing accounts, term deposits, and more.

b. Eligibility: Not all products are covered. For instance, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds aren’t insured. Ensure you’re familiar with what’s protected.

c. The Purpose: This insurance aims to protect depositors from the unlikely event of a bank failure, ensuring that the financial system remains resilient.

d. Automatic Protection: If you deposit money in a CDIC member institution, your funds are automatically insured up to the limit, without any separate application.

BMO offers advice on how customers can protect themselves from cybersecurity threats, including through safe communication and by using security software.

If you are a candidate looking for a Canada job, or an employer looking to recruit foreign talent from abroad, immigration.ca can help. Access our expertise through our in-house recruitment enterprise skilledworker.com, “the leader in foreign recruitment”.


While Canada offers a vibrant and secure financial ecosystem, personal vigilance remains the cornerstone of cybersecurity in banking. The Canadian government’s deposit insurance, through CDIC, provides an additional layer of assurance, promoting trust in the country’s financial institutions.

For newcomers, striking a balance between leveraging Canada’s advanced banking services and ensuring robust cybersecurity is key. By arming oneself with knowledge, staying updated with evolving threats, and employing best practices, one can enjoy a seamless, secure banking experience in Canada.

The post Canada Immigration Fraud And Cyber-Security: Newcomers Need To Be Informed appeared first on Canada Immigration and Visa Information. Canadian Immigration Services and Free Online Evaluation..



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