The Government of Ontario has recently issued a warning against fraudsters who send fake emails claiming to be from Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program(OINP), the Provincial Nominee Program(PNP) of Ontario. Ontario has requested those who have received such emails to report it to the authorities.
These fraudulent emails claiming to be from OINP demand the receiver to pay a ‘Right of Permanent Residence Fee’. They will also contain a fake Ontario Certificate of Nomination bearing the logo of the Government of Ontario and the address of 400 University Avenue, Toronto.
OINP has clarified that it will never send a confirmation letter or nomination certificate to those who have not applied to the program and those who do not have an application pending.
In order to protect yourself from fraud, please remember the following facts:
- OINP will never email a Certificate of Nomination to you
- The telephone and fax number on the certificate contains a 708 area code. This area code is not used in Ontario and is not connected to the OINP in any way.
- The false nomination certificate refers to the CIC Visa Office. The Federal Government of Canada has changed the name of the department that deals with Canadian immigration and it is now called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- You will never be asked to make a payment to the OINP through a wire transfer, and you will never be asked to pay a ‘Right of Permanent Residence Fee’. Applicants to the OINP pay a one-time upfront administration fee to the program, through the online system, and do not pay for a nomination certificate when and if it is granted.
In the warning statement, OINP also makes it clear that the program never asks to make a payment through email or phone. If anybody is asked to do so, they are supposed to inform OINP at ProgramIntegrityTeam@ontario.ca
OINP has also advised against sharing personal information such as account numbers, mother’s maiden name, and passwords in response to unsolicited emails or phone calls.
If you are a victim of such fraud, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by: