Residents of several African countries have been warned about an immigration scam doing the rounds on social media claiming Canada president Justin Trudeau is begging for new immigrants from the continent.
Canada immigration scam
The fraudulent ‘news’ article reportedly first appeared online in early 2019 and was widely shared across various social media networks including Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and even WhatsApp.
The story claimed Canada had instituted a new employment and migration programme designed specifically for people from African countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya.
“The hoax is part of an elaborate scam that is defrauding thousands of dollars from victims,” Beaver Immigration Consulting told Times Live.
“Through social media and chat groups, the scam has now moved its way down the continent and entered the South African market.”
Based on the truth
The reason this scam has come across as believable is because Canada is actually opening up its immigration borders.
At the start of 2019, the Canadian government announced a plan to add one million new permanent residents by 2020.
However, the plan was not country, or continent, specific and the selection criteria are focused on the benefit the applicant could bring to the country, such as age, work experience, and education.
“We have known about this scam for some time and we have been warning markets in East and West Africa to be vigilant, but the calls from South African victims and other foreign nationals living in South Africa have started to come in. It was only a matter of time before the scam reached South Africa,” Nicholas Avramis, a licensed Canadian immigration consultant based in Cape Town told Times Live.
“I have both vulnerable members of society, such as asylum seekers, and wealthy families calling me to tell me about their experience. One family used all of its savings and paid R100,000 for two fake job offers from Canada.”