News Articles

South Africans are losing hundreds of thousands of rands to immigration fraudsters offering jobs in Canada in ‘the perfect scam’

Source: Business Insider SA, 08/03/2020

South African family has lost around R100,000 to scammers who
promised to get them into Canada. Others regularly pay up to
R80,000 to `consultancies` that guarantee jobs in the likes of
Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal ` and so, residency in Canada.
And as long as the victims are truly committed to emigrating from
South Africa, such scams are the perfect crime, say specialist
immigration consultants.
`That`s the genius of the scam,` says Nicholas Avramis of Cape-
Town based Beaver Immigration Consulting. `If you go public and
the Canadian government finds out, whether what you did was
illegal or not, you`ll never get into Canada.`
Admitting to having been involved in a scheme to defraud
immigration authorities ` even as victim ` could also affect even
normal visitor visa prospects for the likes of the United Kingdom
and New Zealand too, Avramis says, so anyone who wants to leave
South Africa is unlikely to report the crime.
In some cases immigration consultants believe their clients have
been scammed, but do not want to admit it even within that
relationship, simply because they are embarrassed. Avramis,
however, believes this kind of fraud runs into millions of rands
every year in South Africa, based on anecdotal evidence such as
the family that paid R100,000.
Avramis points to Canada`s genuine plan to attract one million new
immigrants over the next three years as a likely reason why such
scams seem to be growing more prevalent in South Africa.
But there is also a plausible local reason for what he too
believes is an uptick in such fraud, says Robbie Ragless, managing
director of New World Immigration.
With renewed political and economic uncertainty in South Africa
even legitimate and mostly-legitimate immigration consultants are
ramping up marketing efforts to attract customers, says Ragless.
`I`d be shocked if there wasn’t a dramatic spike in spam artists
in this arena right now just because of how desperate people are,`
he says.
The highest single number Ragless has seen lost to an immigration
scam was R80,000, but he believes a large number of people are
regularly being talked out of smaller sums, often after they are
told they will have trouble being accepted into another country,
and then suddenly getting a call from a consultancy that offers a
sure-fire solution.
In one test, says Ragless, New World created a `ghost profile` of
a 55-year-old menial labourer, `literally the least promising
immigration candidate ever`. That fake profile was guaranteed
entry into Canada, in one of the cases New World is now reporting
to the Canadian government.
Neither Avramis nor Ragless are entirely sure why their clients
would fall for such fraud, despite the Canadian government`s
efforts to warn of immigration scams and helpful tools such as a
checklist of warning signs that you may be dealing with a scam
immigration website.
A mixture of desperation, confusion about bureaucratic rules, and
a simple belief that anyone charging a lot of money must be
legitimate all seem to contribute, though.
How not to get scammed on a Canadian visa
South Africans seem to be targeted in several different types of
emigration scams. Some involve `guaranteed jobs` in Canada (though
a job offer alone is not sufficient for entry into that country),
others offer `assessments` at fees of up to $800 per person.
The Canadian government recommends neither paying money nor
providing personal information to anyone but a trusted provider,
as even personal details can be misused, or be a starting point
for extortion.
It is an offence under Canadian law to take money for immigration
services if not regulated by Canadian law society the ICCRC, or
the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
A list of accredited providers is available at http://iccrc-


  •    * Travel to and from within continent allowed * Travel restricted from high infection countries * Govt yet to say which countries on restricted list * Business travel to be allowed under certain conditions (Adds details from govt gazette) JOHANNESBURG, South Africa will allow travel from Oct. 1 to and from all countries in Africa as well as other countries where levels of COVID-19 infections are not too high, a government minister said on Friday.... Read more...
  •    International visitors will be allowed back in the country from 1 October.... Read more...
  •    Thousands of skilled migrants with valid visas to come to Australia are stranded overseas, needing government permission to travel back and reunite with their families and jobs. Under measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic since March 20, foreign nationals have required a travel exemption to enter Australia even if they already have a visa, though the Department of Home Affairs has refused to disclose the legal basis for this requirement. This includes both short-term visitors and long-term residents on visas.... Read more...
  •    The draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB), which is open for public comment, will introduce changes for South Africans looking to take their retirement funds abroad. In an analysis of the proposed change, law firm ENSAfrica said that the changes primarily deal with formal emigration with the draft bill suggesting a much stricter process from 1 March 2021 onward.... Read more...
  •    The Public Servants Association of SA has lashed out at the department of home affairs for suspending a senior bureaucrat involved in investigating foreign nationals who allegedly obtained SA citizenship fraudulently.... Read more...
  •    South Africans abroad are facing a passport renewal nightmare. SAPeople editor Jenni Baxter sat down with Adrian Roos MP (DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Home Affairs) and Justin Adams (DA Abroad UK and Europe Chairperson) to discuss the critical situation SA citizens abroad are facing in obtaining their South African passports from Home Affairs and the SA embassies.To assist South Africans abroad the DA, DA Abroad and SAPeople are petitioning the Minister of Home Affairs. Some of the points raised in the discussion include:... Read more...
  •    Concerns are growing about the number of refugees’ and asylum seekers’ documents expiring at the end of October. The Department of Home Affairs has not said how it intends dealing with the disruption caused by Covid-19, insofar as this paperwork is concerned. The Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town has written to home affairs asking for the department’s plan regarding documents held by refugees that are on the point of expiring.... Read more...
  •    A streamlined, efficient and well-integrated civil service is the hallmark of a capable state, but South Africa has fallen in a number of areas, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. Writing in his weekly open letter to the public, Ramaphosa said that the government’s key priority is to build a ‘capable state’. “If we are to build a more capable state we have to seriously and urgently address the shortcomings in the organisation and the capacity of the public service,” he said.... Read more...
  •    Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has bemoaned South Africa`s treatment of undocumented immigrants. Motlanthe said George Bizos had no citizenship and remained stateless for 31 years after the South African government denied him citizenship.... Read more...
  •    For most Nigerian businessmen, holding a Nigerian passport raises a red flag and would often require extra documentation for validation. Nigeria is placed 95 on the annual Henley Passport Index which ranks the world’s passport according to the countries they can visit without a prior visa. Ranked 95, Nigerian passport holders can visit two fewer countries now than they could in 2010 without a visa.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News