One 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.