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Scamming Immigration Consultants

This article is written as a warning to all new immigration consultants out there:

A few days ago I received a message sent through the ICCRC gateway reading:

Sent from the Find a Consultant feature of the ICCRC website.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello,


We have been approved by Service Canada for six Arranged Employment Opinions and
require your assistance to source the skilled workers.

Can you help us?

Darren
I responded to that message and asked about details of the offer, this was the response:

Subject:       Re: ICC
From:       hr@northwestcompany.net
Date:       Wed, November 9, 2011 12:38 pm
To:
Priority:       Normal


wwww,

We have six Arranged Employment Opinions approved by Service Canada,
however due to the duration to acquire the approvals, the skilled workers
we sourced independently were either uninterested or unreachable, so I can
place an Administrative Executive, Sales Manager, Bookkeeper, Welder,
Carpenter and an Electrician within a day on our approval.

Do you have anyone looking to immigrate through the Federal Skilled Worker
Program who has these occupations?

Darren



in my response I was wondering why did they look for AEOs instead of LMOs because processing time for FSW is approximately two years while TFW can be in Canada within a couple of months, this was his response:


Subject:       Re: ICC
From:       hr@northwestcompany.net
Date:       Thu, November 10, 2011 10:01 am
To:      
Priority:       Normal


wwww,

The workers are needed in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In our discussions with Service Canada, since our need is for a permanent
worker, an Arranged Employment Opinion is a better fit for our skilled
workers.

We are doing LMOs for our retail workers already and due to the large
volume of workers being approved through that program, using the Arranged
Employment Opinions for the skilled labour was recommended.

If you can help, we have 50 retail sales people approved on LMO for us as
well at a salary of $12.50 per hour.  I was just going to fly to Mexico to
hire them.

My direct line is (204) 899-3205 but I'm in meetings this afternoon.

Hope to discuss soon.

Darren.


then yesterday he sent another e-mail:

Subject:       Re: ICC
From:       hr@northwestcompany.net
Date:       Thu, November 10, 2011 1:13 pm
To:      
Priority:       Normal


Since the permanent resident applicants are paying for immigration service
I was hoping for a referral.

Are you able to pay a referral for the workers as well?

Darren.


In response to this e-mail I requested a copy of AEO and LMO as well as Darren's last name, before I discuss any financial arrangements of this proposal. Today he sent this e-mail to me:


Subject:       Re: ICC
From:       hr@northwestcompany.net
Date:       Fri, November 11, 2011 7:31 am
To:      
Priority:       Normal

wwww,

We will get the Arranged Employment Opinions once we submit the worker's
complete names, dates of birth, country of origin and country of
residence.

Please see attached a copy of the LMO with our confidential information
blacked out.

Darren.


My response to this e-mail was that I believe that this proposition was not genuine and that I am not interested in further discussing it.

This is why I believe this is a scam:

1) All e-mails are sent from the e-mail address hr@northwestcompany.net, let's take a look at the whois record for northwest company.net:

Registrar: FastDomain Inc.
Provider Name....: Netfirms, Inc.
Provider Whois...: whois.fastdomain.com
Provider Homepage: http://www.netfirms.com/

Domain Name: NORTHWESTCOMPANY.NET

   Created on..............: 2011-10-17 20:20:49 GMT
   Expires on..............: 2012-10-17 20:20:49 GMT
   Last modified on........: 2011-10-17 20:20:50 GMT

Registrant Info: (FAST-12849468)
   Fastdomain.com
   Fastdomain Inc
   1958 South 950 East
   Provo, Utah 84606
   United States
   Phone: +1.8014948462
   Fax..: +1.8017651992
   Email:
   Last modified: 2010-12-06 18:58:24 GMT

This domain name was registered less than one month ago (an it will expire in one year - another hallmark of scammer domains).

If we enter NORTHWESTCOMPANY.NET into browser address field it will take us to the official The North West Company web site. This is another indication of the scam: the actual web address of The North West Company is http://www.northwest.ca/.

So how come we see the official web site if we use fake domain name? Simple, Mr Darren registered the domain name and set up domain forwarding (which means if someone enters nortwestcompany.net it will be automatically re-directed to www.northwest.ca, which is very common practice on the Internet, however in most cases this is done if a company purchases several domain names and want visitors to go to only one web site).

The re-direction trick is easy to spot, when you type northwestcompany.net and the page opens look at the page source code:

<html> <FRAMESET border='0' ROWS='*,1'> <FRAME SRC='http://www.northwest.ca'><FRAME SRC='blank.html'> </FRAMESET> </html>

which means legitimate web site www.northwest.ca is embedded into an iFrame to create an illusion you are actually at northwestcompany.net.

The whois record for the legitimate web site is:


Domain name:           northwest.ca
Domain status:         registered
Creation date:         2000/09/28
Expiry date:           2013/07/29
Updated date:          2010/11/01

Registrar:
    Name:              Internic.ca Inc.
    Number:            29

Registrant:
    Name:              The North West Company

Administrative contact:
    Name:              Phil Walker
    Postal address:    26 Auriga Dr.
                       Ottawa ON K2E8B7 Canada
    Phone:             +1.6132211215
    Fax:
    Email:            

Technical contact:
    Name:              Phil Walker
    Postal address:    26 Auriga Dr.
                       Ottawa ON K2E8B7 Canada
    Phone:             +1.6132211215
    Fax:
    Email:            

Name servers:
    dns1.mts.net
    dns2.mts.net
    ghns1.northwest.ca 205.200.174.1

This domain is created 11 years ago and it clearly indicates that The North West Company owns it.

2) When I was receiving e-mails from this gentleman gmail indicated this e-mail was sent from hr@northwestcompany.net via eigbox.net to me so what is eigbox.net?

if we check this e-mail address destination we see:


Validation results

canonical address: <hr@northwestcompany.net>

MX records

preference exchange IP address (if included)
30 mx.northwestcompany.net [66.96.142.51]
SMTP session

[Contacting mx.northwestcompany.net [66.96.142.51]...]
[Connected]
220 bosimpinc02.eigbox.net NO UCE ESMTP server ready
EHLO Network-Tools.com
250-bosimpinc02.eigbox.net hello [67.222.132.193], pleased to meet you
250-HELP
250-SIZE 34603008
250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES
250-PIPELINING
250-8BITMIME
250-STARTTLS
250 OK
VRFY hr
502 5.5.0 VRFY command not implemented
RSET
250 2.0.0 OK
EXPN hr
500 5.5.1 command unrecognized
RSET
250 2.0.0 OK
MAIL FROM:<admin@Network-Tools.com>
250 2.1.0 <admin@network-tools.com> sender ok
RCPT TO:<hr@northwestcompany.net>
250 2.1.5 <hr@northwestcompany.net> recipient ok
RSET
250 2.0.0 OK
QUIT
221 2.0.0 bosimpinc02.eigbox.net NO UCE closing connection
[Connection closed]

Mr Darren is using mail server at bosimpinc02.eigbox.net to send his e-mails; if you google name of this mail server most of the google results have something to do with spam and scam; the official The North West Company e-mails are sent from @northwest.ca domain.

3)Although LMO seems to be legitimate all identifiers are blacked out, therefore if I called Service Canada Centre and asked them for confirmation of authenticity of the LMO it would be hard or impossible because all numbers are removed, including the name of the Service Canada Center which process this request for LMO.

4) Darren in his e-mail does not use his last name, does not have company/department name or fax or web site address. Just his first name. Quite unusual for someone who is in charge of Human resources department.

5) And last but not the least yesterday I called The North West Company at their Manitoba phone number (204) 943-0881 and the lady who answered the phone said there was no one with the name Darren working in their Human Resources department, I asked again: "Are you sure person with that name is not working at another department in the company and he would be in charge of hiring foreign workers?" she said: No.


I also sent an e-mail to General Inquiries - nwc@northwest.ca however I did not receive any responses from them yet (today is Remembrance Day). When I called Darren's phone number
(204) 899-3205 the voicemail greeting was "This is human resources, please leave a message".

I sincerely believe this is a fairly elaborate scam to trick immigration consultants into paying 'referral fees" to this person for totally fake LMOs and AEOs.

This page will be updated if response is received from
nwc@northwest.ca.


June 15, 2012 Update on the scam mentioned in the text above:

In March of 2012 I received a telephone call and an e-mail from a CBSA officer from Manitoba (Criminal investigation unit) inquiring about the particulars of this case. I basically repeated what was written in this article because there was nothing else to say.

Today I received an e-mail message from the same CBSA officer informing me that Mr. Darren and another person (Alex) were among several persons who got arrested (presumably) in connection with the fraud mentioned in this article.

Looks like Mr. Darren won't need sunscreen this summer. Good job CBSA!

June 19, 2012 Update

Well, Bradley Jacobson and Kendall Schmidt AKA Darren and Alex are making news today; stories about their exploits are in all major Canadian newspapers:

CBSA web site:

News Release

Two Winnipeg men charged with immigration fraud

Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 19, 2012 – Following a four-month investigation, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) charged Bradley Jacobson with 23 counts and Kendall Schmidt with eight counts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Criminal Code.

It is alleged that Mr. Jacobson, a former immigration representative with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, and Mr. Schmidt developed false businesses and fraudulently submitted documents in order to lure foreign workers to Canada. As a result, the CBSA suspects more than 300 foreign nationals were victims of this crime.

The CBSA Criminal Investigations Division launched an official investigation in February 2012 after receiving a complaint that a person was a victim of immigration fraud. The CBSA executed a search warrant on June 14, 2012, at the residences of the accused, where further evidence was seized.

The next appearance in Winnipeg Provincial Court is scheduled for today June 19, 2012.
"Immigration fraud is a criminal offence and the CBSA takes this issue very seriously," says Lauren D. Delgaty, Regional Director General for the Prairie Region. "The CBSA will investigate and prosecute those engaging in immigration fraud to the full extent of the law."

To report immigration fraud in Canada, please call the Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1‑888-502-9060. All information is treated as confidential.

Also in:

And what is even more bizarre The University of Winnipeg granted Bradley Jacobson their first start-up financing loan:

"First CYBF Loan Goes to Young President & CEO

February 27, 2009

WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg through the Opportunity Fund partnership with Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) has granted its first start-up financing loan to UWinnipeg graduate Brad Jacobson, President & CEO of Canadian Immigration Solutions Inc. As an integral part of the program, Jacobson is hand-matched with a business mentor who will provide guidance and support for a minimum of the first two years of the loan. This program is coordinated through UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Business & Economics.

Support & Encourage
"We support and encourage launching business careers", said Michael Benarroch, Dean, UWinnipeg Faculty of Business and Economics. "Helping young entrepreneurs like Brad Jacobson become successful is our goal. We hope that in the years to come many more young entrepreneurs will take advantage of our business loan program.

Jacobson’s company, Canadian Immigration Solutions Manitoba Inc (CISMI). is a full service immigration firm specializing in international students, foreign workers, provincial nominees and Federal Immigration cases as well as family reunification. For more information on CISMI visit http://www.canadianimmigrationsolutionsinc.ca/.


Building a Strong Foundation

“The financial support of this loan is a great support for the successful launching of Canadian Immigration Solutions Manitoba Inc,” expressed Jacobson. “Having the opportunity to work with David Keam, the owner of the Best Sleep Centres, as my mentor will be a great asset in building a strong foundation to help my company grow.”

“CYBF can provide funding for young entrepreneurs who want to start their own business, as opposed to working for someone else” explained Brittany Schuster Business Manager, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North, CYBF. “This provides the university with another way to help their students after graduation by either helping them find a career or start their own.”

Jacobson graduated with a BA in 1996 from Menno Simmons College majoring in Psychology and Conflict Resolution. He also is a graduate of the Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, where he earned an Immigration Consultant Certificate.

...."

UPDATE ON OCTOBER 31, 2012:

Former immigration consultant gets prison, must pay $380K
By: Staff Writer
Posted: 10/30/2012 2:34 PM

"A former Winnipeg immigration consultant has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for making fraudulent job offers to people overseas and has been ordered to pay more than $380,000 in restitution.

Bradley Jacobson was sentenced Monday in a Winnipeg court after he pleaded guilty to three offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and three offences under the Criminal Code.

The sentencing comes three years after Canada Border Services Agency launched an investigation into the activities of Jacobson of Canadian Immigration Solutions Manitoba Inc. The investigators found that between September 2008 and June 2009, he produced fraudulent employment offers and worked as an immigration consultant without a licence. He was charged in October 2010 with 14 offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

In February 2012, while awaiting disposition in this case, CBSA investigators received a complaint against someone going by the name of Darren Natishyn, who claimed to be a human resources director for a Winnipeg-based business. Investigators discovered that "Darren Natishyn" was actually Jacobson. 

Between October 2011 and June 2012, Jacobson used several aliases and said he represented a number of Winnipeg-based companies, made fraudulent job offers to foreign nationals and issued forged Government of Canada documents, the CBSA said."

GOOD JOB CBSA!!
ą
Milorad Borota,
Nov 11, 2011, 2:57 PM
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