Email and Internet Scams

Don’t be the victim of a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The results of these scams can include:

  • identity theft,
  • fraud,
  • theft from your bank account or credit card, and
  • computer viruses.


  • No one can guarantee you a job or a visa to Canada.
  • Only officers at Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates can decide to issue a visa.
  • Processing fees are the same at all Canadian visa offices around the world. We base fee amounts in local currency on official exchange rates. They are the same amount as fees in Canadian dollars.
  • You usually pay fees for Canadian government services to the “Receiver General for Canada,” unless the visa office website states something different.
  • Canadian visa offices will never:
    • ask you to deposit money into a personal bank account,
    • ask you to transfer money through a certain private money transfer service or
    • use free email services, such as Hotmail or Yahoo Mail.
  • You will find free application forms and guides for all types of visas on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
  • Be careful if the salary of the job you are applying for seems too high to be real.

Fake websites and other Internet scams

It is easy for criminals to copy a real website or build one that looks professional. Websites may claim to be official Government of Canada sites or their partners. Others may claim to offer special immigration deals or guaranteed high-paying jobs. They do this to trick people into paying them money.

Some of these sites may try to get you to give them your private information. This could be used to steal your identity.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • If the website claims to offer special deals to people who want to immigrate, be careful. Do not pay for offers of guaranteed entry into Canada or faster processing of your application. These claims are false.
  • Check the address in your browser’s address bar after you arrive at a website to make sure it matches the address you typed.

Here are some other ways to protect yourself:

  • Never enter private information unless there is a padlock in the browser window or ”https://” at the beginning of the Web address to show it is secure.

    photo of https:// address photo of padlock in browser window
  • If a website seems wrong to you, do a Web search to see if anyone has reported any problems with that site.
  • Make sure your browser is up to date. Browser filters can help detect fake websites.
  • Beware of websites advertised in emails from strangers that you did not ask for.
  • Do not give out personal information unless you are sure you know whom you are dealing with.
  • If in doubt, contact the website owner by telephone or email before you do anything.
  • Find out more about who can legally represent you if you choose to hire an immigration representative.

Email scams

You may get an email that looks like it is from a real company or the Government of Canada. It may ask you for private information, such as your date of birth, passwords or credit card details. Sometimes the email will tell you to visit a fake website, such as the ones talked about above.

Some people get emails that look like they are from CIC. They offer special immigration deals if you give them personal information. CIC will never send you an email asking for your private information.

If you get this kind of email, do not click on any links or give any information about yourself. If you have any doubts, contact the local Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • The email is sent from a different address or a free Web mail address (e.g., Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or Gmail).
  • The email uses a standard greeting such as “Dear customer” instead of your real name.
  • The sender asks for personal information, such as your date of birth, password or bank details.
  • You did not expect the email.
  • The message is an image instead of text.

Note: CIC does not send visas by email.

Resettlement to Canada is not for sale

  • Canada does not charge application fees for refugees to be resettled. Find out more.
Date Modified: