Talent At Work: Recruitment and Career Blog

Canadian Immigration Scams to Watch Out For

Posted on January 19th, by Henry Goldbeck in Working Internationally. Comments Off on Canadian Immigration Scams to Watch Out For

Modern job hunting can often extend beyond the borders we were born into. Thanks to Globalization there are many people moving to different countries in pursuit of new opportunities. For those considering an international move, Canada is among the top countries to live and work. However, in the pursuit of new opportunities overseas it is important to be cautious and avoid being scammed.

What are some of the most common scams?international-hiring-scams-photo

  • Internet: While most job advertisements are legitimate there are some fraudsters who post jobs in order to take advantage of job seekers.  Many of them are easy to identify once you know what to look for. Any free offers, discounts or other incentives to use their service or apply for the job should be treated as suspicious. Websites can be easy to set-up and can be made to look official with little effort. Thus, some extra research may be needed to verify if the company is real.
  • Email: Some job offers that land in your inbox may seem too good to be true. According to the Government of Canada, no one can guarantee you a job or a visa into the country. Therefore, be wary if someone is making that claim, especially if they ask you for money.  Also, be careful if you receive an offer for a job that you did not apply for as this is another way that scammers try and get your information or your money.
  • Telephone:  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the country’s federal police service, has investigated many telephone fraud cases and advise everyone to be cautious when talking with someone that has identified themselves as a government representative. Any initial contact by a government agency would be through the mail, not by phone or email. However, if they don’t get a response from you through the mail, they may then try calling.  

What happens to those who have been scammed?

One of the biggest scams discovered by authorities was based near Vancouver, B.C. There were over 1,000 immigration files involved in the case, which involved an unlicensed immigration consulting business. The case involved corruption by employees of the business that were providing Chinese immigrants with fake passports and other forged documents.  Many of those behind the scam were given jail time.

There have also been complaints about fraudsters calling and demanding money from residents. They allegedly threatened physical violence to try and force the residents to pay. Unfortunately, all police could do was issue a warning in this situation.

One newcomer to Canada lost thousands in an elaborate online job scam. According to media reports, Bart Cheng thought he was going to be working as an assistant with a Canadian construction company. He had applied to the job, which was posted on Workopolis. After several promising communications with a person claiming to run the company he was asked to deposit a check and then send it to a company in South Africa that would be sending supplies. Soon after he discovered it was a scam but was unable to recover the lost money.

What you need to know before applying to work in Canada

One of the most important things to know when applying to work in Canada is that you don’t need any official representatives to apply for a visa. Forms can be found free online. Despite what some may claim, they cannot guarantee you a visa and they do not have any sway with decision makers.

Also, processing fees are the same no matter where you are applying from; do not accept any claim for extra fees or charges. No one from the visa offices will ask you to deposit money into a personal bank account or tell you to use a specified private money transfer service.


Although the risk of scams exists when searching for work in a new country, finding a legitimate job should be easier when considering these rules. Keep in mind that offers that sound too good to be true or those demanding money and personal information should be avoided.






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Henry E. Goldbeck, President and founder of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) with over 24 years recruiting experience. In his 13 years at the helm of Goldbeck Recruiting, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

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