The number of scams in the first five months of 2020 has increased to almost 30 times compared to the same period last year in Singapore with eCommerce scams proving to be the most common in the first three months of the year, with "Covid-19 related items" accounting for about one in four such cases.
Fake loan schemes were another common tactic as scammers got away with at least $41.3 million in total between January and March this year.
In this unprecedented times, it is common that unfortunate individuals gets taken advantage of in view of their desperation to attain specific objectives. For us in the Immigration Consultancy business, it is no different.
We are living in a time whereby foreigners who are presently on valid work passes are worried about the stability of their jobs and their ability to continue supporting their families’ livelihood in Singapore. While the situation with Covid-19 and its impact on global economies is beyond control, securing Permanent Residence in Singapore is one way which enables these foreigners to continue plying their trade here, without having to go back to their home countries.
How do foreigners ensure that the consultancies and agencies supporting their endeavors to secure Singapore Permanent Residence and/or Citizenship are trustworthy? A good and quick audit to help you is to spend a little bit of time doing some research and ask yourselves:
1. Does the Company Possess Genuine, Knowledgeable Professionals?
If you have spent sufficient time seeking professional immigration help, you would have noticed that many companies claim to be highly knowledgeable on immigration policies and laws and have ex-ministry members within their ranks. Can they actually back these up? Are they transparent with the actual profiles of knowledgeable personnel within their company to back their claims? Do they produce good informational content to public and their clients to indicate that they possess actual knowledge in their field of craft?
2. Does the Company Possess a Genuine Track Record?
Longevity in the industry does not guarantee success. Many companies out there blow their own trumpet and lay claims on having a stellar track record. It is another thing to actually be able to show it. A genuine company will not shun away from being transparent about their achievements and success.
3. What Do the Actual Clients Have to Say About Their Experience?
There is no better way to gauge the effectiveness and credibility of a company than hearing from their clients directly. Do spend some time combing through forums, checking out actual customer reviews on Google or various of the company’s social media platforms before parting with your hard earned money.
4. Does the Company Engage in False Selling / Misrepresentation / High-Pressure Sales Tactics?
The spirit of fair competition may not be a virtue that many companies actually practices, especially in these times when businesses are struggling to survive. Do not be lured or fooled by very attractive and gimmicky false claims promising high approval and success rates, when quite simply, these approvals lie within the control of the Singapore government!
Further, if a company is truly confident in their product and service, you would not ponder if you had indeed made a good investment and the right choice in partnering the firm on your Singapore PR / Citizenship application.
5. Does the Company Have Ongoing / Past Legal Lawsuits?
On top of having sound track record, it is also important that you do your due diligence in ensuring that you are working with a company that is not battling legal lawsuits or have criminal allegations / associations presently or in the past. Do a simple Google Search or ask around in the expat forums and determine if the company in question may require further scrutiny before further commitment.
As immigration consultants, on top of establishing a professional and ethical way of running our operations, it is also important to keep ourselves abreast with the latest immigration policy updates that answers all clients’ concerns. Having maintained strong and healthy relations with the various ministry counterparts, we are also able to access and analyse information that directly impacts foreign talent and their long-term plans in Singapore.