South Africans are being warned to be aware of fake immigration agencies.
Many are posing as the real deal, promising guaranteed jobs or study permits. But instead, they end up taking people’s hard earned money and then disappearing.
One South African family claims to have lost around R100,000 to scammers who promised to get them to Canada. Others report regularly pay up to R80,000 to "consultancies" that guarantee jobs.
Nicholas Avramis is with Beaver Immigration Consulting and talks to John Maytham about how prevalent these scams are and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim.
Canadian immigration fraud is a global problem and it is starting to hit South African shores.— Nicholas Avramis - Beaver Immigration Consulting
He describes the recent scam that started a few months ago in Sub-Saharan Africa with fake news stories purported to be a call from the Canadian prime minister to the Kenyan and Nigerian prime ministers for a million new immigrants needed in Canada.
This is a little bit far from the truth and scamsters use it to lure people in. But the Canadian government is very strict and you have to have a licence from the government to guide you through the immigration process.— Nicholas Avramis - Beaver Immigration Consulting
There are two types of scams, he explains.
- The first targets the most vulnerable members of society with promises of open work permits and runs to about R10 -20, 000
- The second is a more elaborate scam targeting the upper middle class with offers of open work permits and job offers from fake companies and runs into hundreds of thousands of rands.
While a job offer is a great route of entry into Canada, permission has to be obtained from the Canadian government to hire a foreign worker, known as a labour market impact assessment. So there are two documents that you really need.— Nicholas Avramis - Beaver Immigration Consulting
These criminals play on the fact that Canada is open to immigration at the moment, he says.
They are stealing people's dreams...wanting a better life... The fraudsters play on people's emotions.— Nicholas Avramis - Beaver Immigration Consulting
Listen to the interview below: