I was contacting with an Immigration company from Canada during the call the took all data which they need to start their evaluation. Then, they requested to know the first 6 digits of my payment card. I they assure to me that they need it to check my international payment method is it work or not, since I am very far and the service fees should be online. I didn’t give them anything, question is: is it safe or not?

  • 3
    Just to be clear, did you contact them, or did they contact you? – Vicky Mar 20 '19 at 17:16
  • See also: money.stackexchange.com/questions/47450/… – Nosjack Mar 20 '19 at 17:20
  • (OP responded in an answer- moving it to a comment.) @Vicky - Ghaith wrote, "I clicked their Facebook page and left my number, and they called" – TTT Mar 20 '19 at 19:30
  • I checked Babani in the RCIC registry and he's listed, but with a different company. I then checked UIS, British Columbia which brought up someone else who had resigned. Universal Immigration Services found another person who hadn't renewed their license in 2015. No bad marks at BBB of Vancouver. Whoa. $990 (at minimum) for a evaluation. – mkennedy Mar 20 '19 at 22:07
  • I don't understand the question.... Assuming you paid them for a service they have all the digits already. why would you be reluctant to share some of them ? Assuming you didn't pay them for a service, why would they provide a service for no payment ? – xyious Mar 22 '19 at 19:53

The first digit identifies the card type.

  • 4 = Visa
  • 5 = Mastercard
  • 7 = American Express etc.

The top 6 digits (including that first digit) identify your bank, and also whether it is a credit, debit, or prepaid.

I almost said "the next 5 digits identifies the bank", but they are independent. 577777 might be Oahu Credit Union Mastercard, but 477777 might be United Airlines Visa managed by Synchrony.

So the first 6 digits tells them where you bank. Essentially, they are poaching the "Know Your Customer" due diligence the banks have already done, which is likely to establish you as someone able to bank in that country.

It's probably one of the lowest-friction ways of asking you to prove that, because it captures the info very easily, it's info you'll disclose anyway if you hire them, it avoids awkwardness like faxing over bank statements (how do you even fax anymore?), and most people do not realize their purpose, so they don't try to manipulate or lie.

  • KYC for debit is quite different from prepaid. – Acccumulation Mar 20 '19 at 18:51
  • @Acccumulation good point. Even the fact that you are using prepaid tells them stuff about your situation and finances. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 20 '19 at 19:26

Do you know how legitimate the immigration company is?

As Harper says, the first 6 digits on the card identifies what sort of card you have and who the issuing bank is.

My concern is that the information you have given as part of the immigration application could be used to impersonate you. You will already have given the company a large amount of personal data. If they also know your bank, they could phone the bank, using your personal information to pass the security checks, and make changes to your account without your knowledge.

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