Many places worldwide, including Canada, have to deal with the stress of fraud problems due to technological evolution. In Canada, almost 40% more than the unprecedented $380 million in losses in 2021, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received fraud and cybercrime reports totalling $530 million in losses in 2022. Among them, the damage against international students is worrisome. Scammers know that most international students will take action to achieve their goals of studying in Canada compared to other targets. Because of this, they see international students as easy targets to take advantage of.
What are common examples of fraud in Canada?
Ghost immigration consultants
Ghost immigration consultants provide immigration services to international students in exchange for payments. Once the victim sends their money, the scammer stops communicating with the victim, usually because they are a non-licensed consultant.
Phishing scams are common among international students, especially during the early stages of their immigration journey before they are familiar with the Canadian legal system. Scammers use e-mail or text messages to collect sensitive personal information from potential victims, which is then used to defraud them.
Fake job offers
This example of fraud is common among international students trying to find work since they often act with the same ambition to further their education in Canada. For many Canadian immigration streams, Canadian work experience is either a requirement or an invaluable advantage for students who wish to become permanent residents.
It is also essential for international students to find affordable and comfortable accommodations to achieve long-term success. Due to this, scammers often promise international students housing, only to withdraw thousands of dollars from their accounts. Housing scams are common to find on websites such as Facebook and Craigslist.
Three things you must know to avoid fraud in Canada
1: Ensure that immigration representatives and employers are legitimate
When you complete research on a specific company name online, it is usually a red flag if the company’s website does not have contact information. Canadian Provincial or territorial law society, or the Chambre des Notaires du Québec, provides information regarding the licensed status of immigration representatives, such as lawyers. If you have any concerns or questions, always search for them and collect the information from trustworthy websites, such as the official websites and the government.
2: Keep an eye out for unsolicited emails, calls and messages on social media
The majority of scammers often pretend to represent banks or government agencies. If you receive an email or message you suspect might be a scam, you should never click the URL or open any attached files. Call the company or official organization back to verify that you are speaking with a legitimate organization representative if you feel something is wrong with the call.
3: Be aware of falling for sweet words
You should be cautious if something appears promising, such as a guarantee, free or cash back. Also, know what the average place in the market is. If it seems too affordable, you should be skeptical. Speak with someone you trust if you can’t decide on your own.