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Before you go to Canada, be sure to check your eTA.

July 31, 2017

For the past two years, the Canadian government has been requiring tourists from certain countries to acquire electronic travel authorizations, or “eTA's,” to enter or fly through Canada.

The authorization is required for U.S. permanent residents (but not U.S. citizens), travelers from Mexico, many countries in the Caribbean, as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and more countries. And for the most part, however, most eTA purchasers have no problems.

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However, according to the National Post, about 1,000 travelers have reported complaints of overpaying for their eTA’s when trying to purchase them from third-party websites.

“Those caught up in scams are sometimes paying up to 18 times the actual cost of an eTA,” the National Post reported. “The fee for the authorizations, now required for visitors from many countries, is just $7 (CAD).”

A good rule of thumb for travelers: If you’re asked to pay more than seven Canadian dollars, you’re probably on the wrong site.

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“Many of these websites clearly indicate that they are not associated with the Government of Canada,” spokeswoman Lindsay Wemp told the National Post. And because they are not pretending to be a part of the immigration department, the Canadian government can do little to stop them.

One measure the Canadian government has taken was create a video to raise awareness of eTA scams. The “Don’t Get Scammed” video was posted in October, to modest views.

For information on getting an official eTA, you can check the Government of Canada website.

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