Australia Immigration

Warning over bogus immigration agents trying to scam visa applicants in Australia

by Ray Clancy on July 21, 2016

in Australia Immigration

People looking to move to Australia are being reminded not to rely on people who offer to help with visa applications who are not registered to do so after a businessman was jailed for fraud.

A court in Australia heard that Abel Kalpi Nand Prasad faked a work visa for an Indian citizen who had been living in the country on a student visa. He claimed to be an immigration agent and asked for $25,000 to supply the visa.

scam-signWhen the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) refused to grant the visa, Prasad faked the document and told the Indian man that his visa had been approved.

‘Your purpose in providing those documents to [the man] was to retain the money he paid you. He is still out of pocket for the full amount,’ Judge McIntyre said in court, adding that it was a serious offence against a vulnerable individual.

‘No level or form of immigration fraud is acceptable and any professional who fraudulently helps a migrant acquire a visa should be punished to the full extent of the law,’ said Migration Institute of Australia national president Angela Julian-Armitage.

It comes at a time when the DIBP has also issued a new warning about recent scam phone calls asking for money for visa applications. The callers claim to be from the Department and ask for money to progress visa applications.

‘The caller identifies themselves as an employee of the Department, and typically introduces themselves using a first name. The phone number might appear to be a genuine official number,’ said a DIBP spokesman.

‘The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will never request money over the phone. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the Department who requests money, report it using our Immigration and citizenship online report,’ he added.

He explained that a scam is an attempt to intentionally mislead people to steal money, property, or personal information, or to dishonestly obtain something else of value. Scams can occur in many forms such as by post, email, telephone or on the internet. Some scams are easy to identify, while others might appear to be the real thing.

The DIBP is urging visa applicants to protect themselves from migration fraud and scams. ‘People might give you false or misleading information in order to defraud you. We are aware that criminals around the world use scams about migration and visas as a way to steal money from people,’ the spokesman explained.

‘Sometimes these criminals will use our name to make their story appear legitimate. It is your responsibility to be vigilant and careful to avoid scams,’ he added.

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