Is My Canadian Job Offer Legitimate? How to Spot a Scam

Published on: January 29th, 2020
Last updated: September 21st, 2022

Job offer fraud is on the rise, especially in the world of immigration. As a top immigration law firm in Canada, it is our priority to make sure that we are doing all that we can to make sure our clients avoid mistakes or scams, such as a fake job offer, along their immigration journey.

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Fake Job Offers in the News

In 2020 a Saskatchewan man was charged for falsely impersonating several Canadian charities. Gurpreet Singh extended offers of employment to immigrants on behalf of these charities. He sold these letters to hopeful immigrants who believed they were securing legitimate job offers in Canada. 

This is reminiscent of the major immigration scheme run by Toronto-based WonHonTa Consulting Inc. The agency targeted Chinese nationals looking to immigrate to Canada. It charged clients a minimum of $170,000 in exchange for a guaranteed job in either Atlantic Canada or Saskatchewan. 

So, how does it happen?

Picture this: you are a hopeful foreign national starting out on your Canadian immigration journey. Through your hours of research, you have learned that there are many Canadian jobs to be filled, and you have the skills they’re looking for! 

While a job offer is not required to immigrate to Canada, you know that it can increase your chances of successful long-term immigration. You remain hopeful in your search, but find it difficult to connect with Canadian employers. 

Just when you are about to give up, you receive an email from an agency that promises you a job in Canada, and the visa to go along with it.

While it may seem like the chance you’ve been waiting for, it is important to verify the authenticity of the job offer. Avoid the temptation to take shortcuts along the way as they could end up costing you much more in the long run, including your dream of one day becoming a Canadian permanent resident.

While the immigration process is lengthy with many steps and documents required, it is the only way to ensure that everything is in order and to make your transition to life in Canada as smooth as possible.

What does a scam look like?

The most common type of job offer fraud is when you are asked to pay for help finding a job that does not actually exist. 

Typically, a recruiter or agency will charge the employer to find workers for them. You should never pay a recruiter in order to secure a Canadian job offer. Fraudulent recruiters are usually after your money or your personal information. Don’t give it to them! Never provide personal details, social insurance number, or banking information. 

Fraudulent immigration services may charge anywhere from $2,000 to $200,000 for a guaranteed offer of employment.

How to Spot a Fake Job Offer

First of all, you should know it is illegal to ask someone to pay for a Canadian job or a job offer letter. Any job offer letter should have the company’s official letterhead, and should contain their contact information.

Red flags:

  • Fake job postings will often contain misspellings or grammatical errors.
  • A recruiter contacts you through a strange or free email address (ex: @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, @gmail.com)
  • The employer seems unconcerned with your skills or experience.
  • Many fake jobs will be advertised as work from home or self-employed
  • There is a mandatory paid training, or you are asked to pay for material or supplies that are necessary for you to do your job.
  • The job is based on commission or your salary is dependent on unrealistic sales targets.

Basically, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

How to Avoid Scams

  • Do your research
    If you have been offered a job from a Canadian company, take the time to look into the company. If it is legitimate, you should have no trouble finding information online, including a company website, and customer or employee reviews.
  • Be wary of false promises
    If an employer is promising you fast processing times, easy entry to Canada and a high salary, you should proceed with caution. Remember, no one can guarantee you entry to Canada except for one of the government’s immigration officers.
  • Never pay for a job
    If you are asked to pay to secure a job offer, it is likely a scam.
  • Consider the source
    If you receive an offer for a job that you did not apply for, it could be a red flag.

What is a job offer letter?

A job offer letter is less formal than a contract, and should include information specific to the job in question.

A job offer should:

  • Be in writing
  • Come directly from an employer, not through a Canadian consulate or embassy
  • Specify your duties, rate of pay, deductions, and conditions of employment
  • In most cases include a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) number and an offer of employment number

What to do if you think you are a victim of fraud

At Canadim we take immigration fraud very seriously. If you are approached by someone claiming to be a Canadim representative and are feeling unsure, don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our social media channels or email us directly at attorney@canadim.com. You can also report immigration fraud with the Canada Border Services Agency.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about your Canadian immigration options and want to work with trusted professionals, complete our online assessment and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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