The quest for a greener pasture abroad has led many to fall victims of fraud packages, with fake travel agencies impersonating genuine travel consultants.
Toyosi Labeodan, the Principal Immigration Consultant of Trulink Immigration Services, a travel agency that helps people migrate to other countries outside the current country of origin in an interview explains the challenges facing the travel consultancy business, why people fall victims and the efforts his his company has put in place for applicants seeking to travel to Canada.
According to Labeodan, who is also a London trained barrister and a Physiotherapist said the Japa syndrome is as a result of people believing that they can get a better lives outside their current country of residence.
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He said this may be true for so many people travelling abroad for instance in Canada, where there is a level playing ground for people, access to free health care services, better security, good education for kids amongst, increase in earnings others.
He however hinted that the quest to travel out has actually brought in many scammers into the field.
He said scammers have been able to leverage on people’s despirations and they end up using that to defraud people of their hard earn money by claiming to be who they are not.
“These scammers also go as far as impersonating travel and immigration companies, who are genuinely helping individual and family to achieve their travel goals. In the cause of impersonating them, some of these applicants are desperate and the scammers offer the applicants unbelievable packages, which they (the applicants) jump at and at the end of the day, they are scammed of their hard earned money.
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Labeodan mentioned several ways to know when applicants are dealing with scammers.
“Ways to know that you are dealing with a scammer is when you are a given a job offer and you are requested to pay a certain fee, that is a scam offer because in Canada, no principal will ask you to pay for a job offer because it is illegal. So if anyone give you such preposition, its definitely a scam and I advise you to run, not to fall prey of fraudulent agents, do thorough research on any travel or immigration consultant.
“Secondly, if you are asked to pay for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), it is a fraud because that document is supposed to be processed and payed for by the employer and everyone know that and it is not your duty as a potential employee. If anyone approach with that, its likely to be a scam, so run.
“Thirdly, if someone is giving you a job offer and there is no job interview conducted by the employer before giving you the job, I am 100 percent sure it’s a scam. I am also employer of labour in Canada and I don’t think I want to employ anybody without interview. There must be an interview,”Labeodan explained.
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He also said it is hard to see agents outside Canada helping their Canadian representative to do interviews.
He stressed that interviews will be from Canada and most times and even right now they can do zoom interviews and applicants can be at any part of the world and conduct a zoom interview.
“I have a client who did a zoom interview in Nigeria and he got the job before he entered Canada. So if someone got a job offer without doing an interview, that is likely to be a scam, because it very hard for someone to give a job without interviewing you to know if you are fit for the job,” he added.
The Immigration Consultant also said that if applicants are being offered a job they are not qualified for, it’s most likely a scam.
“If I give you a position for a medical doctor and you do not have a license to work as a doctor, can that offer be valid? I have seen many people who come to me with job offers as truck drivers and they don’t have Canadian driver’s licence; how will you do that? Nobody will give you a job in Canada without you having the pre-requisites for the job.
“So if you to get a driving job in Canada, you need to pass a process to get a valid licence. Some people get job offer for jobs they are not qualified for, how can you do or fit into such jobs. You can be a nurse and get a job offer for a fruit picker in a farm or a doctor giving a job offer to work as a chef, definitely, they cannot fit in. So if you are given a job you do not have qualification for, please check very well, that process of job offer must be a scam.
“Even if it is a low skill job, employers must still want someone that knows what they are doing there. Also, it is easy to get a visa if the work they are giving you is related to your qualification” he explained.
He also said that if the offer sound too good to be true, it may also be a scam.
He said scammers can make promises to applicants such as providing them free flight ticket, accommodation, food etc.
He said there are however certain level of support from the employers and there are some low skilled jobs that the employer have to pay for applicants’ flight, and if possible give them accommodation but it has to be removed from their monthly salary.
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Labeodan hinted that as a high skilled person, the employer may not pay for all the listed things above.
“I am in Canada but people outside Canada give you a lot of offers, tell you a lot of things that are impossible but because people are desperate and are looking for a faster route to come to Canada they get easily carried away when they tell them these things. So if what the agent are telling you sound too good to be true, run away from them,” he added.
He therefore advised applicants to do their research very well, go online and verify.
He assured that if applicants do their research well, they will distinguish the genuine travel consultants from the scammers.
“If you want to pay to anyone, do your research by going to their official channels, online and website to confirm; be careful when people tell you that they are agent to any travel company. Don’t do any payment until you have fully confirmed.
“In addition, if anyone is giving you an offer that is too good to be true, you better run or do thorough investigation to see that they are genuine before doing any payment,” he said.