Know These Six Forms of Fraud to Protect Your Clients
5.2 million people in Canada were victims of Fraud in 2022 according to Police statistics—that number in a country of 38.25 million people.
Unfortunately, only 11% of those affected reported the incident to the police.
As consultants, you can make protecting your clients more straightforward by taking the time to understand the forms of Fraud you and your clients may encounter.
CAPIC, in promoting the licensed citizenship and immigration consultant (RCIC) profession, is raising awareness of fraud that immigrants may encounter with articles relevant to you during March’s Fraud Prevention month.
Being RCICs, you must uphold high professional standards and ethics because your clients are newcomers in a vulnerable position of trust. English may not be their first language, and the Canadian judiciary system is new to them. Therefore, to protect your clients and maintain the integrity of the RCIC profession, you should remind your clients of potential scams to avoid.
Here are the six forms of common fraud that you may help your clients avoid :
Internet and telephone scams
Fake websites that look legitimate are relatively easy for criminals to produce. Advise your clients to use official websites like Canada.ca to protect their interests. They may follow the links from Canada.ca to find program information, application documents and trustworthy authorized representatives like you.
Warn your clients that they may also encounter fake emails, phone calls from fraudsters posing as Canadian Immigration Officials, computer viruses or even false prizes.
Advise your clients to be truthful when filling out any information and supporting documents.
The consequence of misrepresentation is severe. Ensure that your clients’ police certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage, divorce, annulment, and separation papers are correct and that passports, travel documents, visas, diplomas, degrees, and other educational proof are unaltered and authentic. If you have doubts about the information and/or documents they supplied, check with your clients.
While a marriage of convenience may not seem like fraud, it is against Canadian immigration law. Canadian immigration officials are well-trained to recognize false spousal/common-law partnerships made with fraudulent intentions. They have a lot at their disposal for detecting marriage fraud, including document reviews, home visits and spousal interviews.
The adoption of convenience is prohibited by Canadian immigration and citizenship law. To protect your reputation, you may need to engage the legal professional to ensure the legitimacy of the adoption before starting to work on an immigration or citizenship application for your client or the adopted child.
Bringing an adopted child into Canada is an emotional experience that can take longer than your clients would expect and involves properly completing legal paperwork. Advise your clients properly so that they won’t expect a bypass that afford them a faster processing time. While such a bypass doesn’t exist, an unreasonable expectation of such a bypass may lead clients to the traps of scammers.
Home title fraud
Home title fraud is more prevalent than anyone in Canada would expect, and you need to know how to prevent it. You may provide relevant resources to your clients so that they know how to ensure that no one is pretending to own their property. When they go on vacation or leave for more extended periods, have someone they trust check their home regularly for them. Home title insurance is also available.
Advise your clients that their personal identity is invaluable; in this case, dedicated organizations can help. For example, Equifax and On Guard will immediately alert an individual to the unauthorized use of personal data so that your clients can change their passwords and call their credit card provider or banking institution when their data is reported misused. Also, inform your clients to keep a close eye on their bank statements, destroy sensitive documents and keep personal data safe, and regularly check their credit reports. These small steps can save your clients thousands of dollars and help them build good credit.
Canada is a country and culture where your actions contribute to the overall environment. Act with Canada and your client’s best interest at heart. We all want to live in a secure domain without fraud. Protect your clients and report fraud to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at 1-888-502-9060 if you or your clients encounter it.
Sources: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/protect-fraud/irregular-adoptions-fraud.html Online reporting of fraud
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