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Immigration Fraud: Don’t Be the Next Victim!

25 October 2016

Immigration Fraud: Don’t Be the Next Victim!
Immigration fraud is an unfortunate reality in our world today. Clients have informed us of past experiences with “fake” companies that have taken payment for immigration services and later ran away with the client’s money. Even worse, some people even go through identity fraud whereby a company would steal their identity and bank account information. Whether or not you will retain the services of our firm, you should be aware that fraud is everywhere, and have the knowledge to arm yourself against a potential scam.
 
Below, we will discuss the biggest immigration fraud red flags to be on the lookout for. While these red flags don’t necessarily mean you are dealing with a scammer, you might be, so be wary. Everyone has the right to a trustworthy and reliable immigration consultant or lawyer, and a stress-free immigration process knowing you are in the right hands.
 
1.You are guaranteed a successful application
 
We cannot stress this point enough: No one can guarantee the outcome of your application. This is something our firm is very adamant about. Even though we have a very high success rate, we never guarantee success and are always honest with our clients concerning this. Honesty, in addition to our quality of service, is what keeps clients coming back to us.
 
“Obtain your (any country) visa for (this price) guaranteed!” is a tagline not to be trusted. The only person who makes the decision of whether or not to issue a visa is the immigration officer working for the government of the country you are applying to. That’s it. The guarantee of success may seem appealing; however, is an obvious red flag when it comes to immigration fraud.

2.You cannot find the immigration firm you are dealing with online, or their website is dubious  

In this day and age, immigration companies usually have their own website. If you can’t find the company’s website through a simple Google search, you should be suspicious. Even fraudulent immigration companies have websites. Some signs that a website may be part of a scam:
 
  • As in the first red flag discussed, the website offers guaranteed visas, or guaranteed faster processing time than the government’s published timeline;
  • The website does not have a “Contact Us” page, or the information on the page is left blank or is invalid;
  • The web address that you search redirects you to another page with a different URL that may be a fake page.
 
3.The individual who is handling your file is using their personal email address
 
Professional (and legitimate) businesses will use their website name, or part of their website name, as the domain name of their e-mail addresses. For instance, e-mails from our firm will always come from NAME@invest-visa.com or NAME@CANADVISA.COM. Emails coming from a generic email provider like Gmail or Hotmail are an obvious red flag.


4.The immigration firm reaches out to you first
 
This red flag is one to look out for. However, it may or may not be a scam. When you receive an unsolicited e-mail or phone call from someone, take precaution. It is highly unlikely that an immigration firm would reach out to you without you having contacted them first. The only situation where unsolicited contact might occur is for a company that is just starting out and trying to build their client base. But then again, you would not want to contract a company that is new in the immigration field, especially since it is your future that is at stake. You want to look for a company with many years of experience and proven track records of success!


5.You have been asked to make payment of fees to a personal bank account, or make a payment in an unusual way
 
Fee payments should always be made in a company name, not in a person’s name. If it is a lawyer you are dealing with, the funds are usually deposited into an account “in trust,” whereby the funds are held for the applicant in trust until the services are rendered.
 
It would certainly be unusual for an immigration consultant or attorney to inform you that payments can only be made in cash. This is a serious red flag and should be avoided. Cash is virtually untraceable and without a formal receipt, it can disappear rather quickly. Other unusual payment methods, like payment to an unknown financial institution, should be researched before trusted.
 
Conclusion

Always conduct proper due diligence prior to hiring an immigration representative. The red flags discussed above should help you point out an offender when you see one. Your best defense, however, is to obtain references from people who have had success with a company, especially when the referral comes from trusted family or friends. Our firm has very high success rates, many years of experience, and very trustworthy and confidential services that are nothing short of the best in the industry. Contact us today to find out how to get your immigration journey started. We look forward to working with you.

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