The rate of immigration fraud has skyrocketed within the last two decades. Immigrants from different continents fall for immigration scams because of a lot of reasons. For instance, most of them have limited knowledge about how the immigration process works.
Scammers find it easier to spot such individuals and won’t hesitate to rip them off. This issue has far-reaching consequences like identity theft and financial stress. Here are some common immigration scams and how best to avoid them.
1. Fake immigration officials
Several unscrupulous individuals are claiming that they are from the immigration department of different countries. One of their tactics is to contact aspiring immigrants via email or phone to inform them about an issue they need to fix on their immigration status.
The scammers often tell their victims that they will lose their status or risk deportation if they fail to pay a certain fee on time. They will categorically instruct immigrants to make the payment via PayPal, Western Union or gift cards.
They can even ask for personal information such as an address, date of birth, names, and social security numbers. Your best bet is to ignore their email.
2. Scam websites
Another tactic used by scam immigration agents is to set up a fake website that appears similar to the original immigration websites. Many unsuspecting immigrants have been stripped of significant sums of money because of processing their applications on these websites.
These scammers will duplicate a real immigration website in a bid to convince immigrants that they are reputable.
Make sure that you delve deeper into any websites for irrelevant or fake information, grammatical errors, and incomplete web pages. This is because it may be difficult to spot these issues at a first glance.
Confirm if the agency name, logo, and other elements match. Besides, a reputable immigration agency will only run a website with a secure domain to protect their customers.
Be wary of representatives that offer 100% guarantee of obtaining a visa whether you’re moving to America, Canada or any other country.
If you’re planning to move to a country such as Canada, confirm whether the immigration lawyer is registered with the RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants).
3. A vague explanation of the immigration process
One of the easy ways to spot scam immigration agencies is to ask for a detailed explanation of how the immigration process works. You will discover that fake agents will likely offer vague information or ignore your request.
The good thing is that legitimate immigration agencies will determine your eligibility before starting the immigration process.
It’s best to report immigration scams to state authorities immediately. This will help to prevent other immigrants from falling into their traps. You don’t have to worry about losing your status if you take this step.
Applying for a visa into any country usually involves a lot of paperwork and each applicant must adhere to certain conditions. It’s perfectly normal to be anxious about the entire process.
The importance of hiring an authentic immigration agent can’t be underemphasized. It’s the key to having a hassle-free immigration process that will be easy on your pocket. You can confirm the eligibility of the company you intend to work with on third party websites.
Never ignore discrepancies no matter how slight. For instance, compare the area code of the agency’s contact number and the country they claim they are located in. You will still need to verify by putting a call through even if they match.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re relocating for work, study, family or business. Their services will go a long way to make the entire process faster and you will stand a better chance of being approved for a visa.