A police warning has been issued in Australia about scammers phoning people claiming to be immigration officials and demanding fines be paid or they will face deportation.

Visa holders in Australia are usually aware that they should not breach the conditions of their visa and it can be stressful when a so called immigration officials contacts them.

scam-signThe current scammers call and say they are from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and state that the person's visa, or a relative's visa will be cancelled and they will be deported unless they pay a fine.

They give them an option of buying a number of gift cards to provide the caller with the verification numbers and several people have been scammed out of considerable amounts of money.

They seem to be operating in the Woolgoolga area and particularly targeting the Indian community, according to a police spokesman who said anyone receiving a call out of the blue supposedly from a government department should be aware.

In this instance if the call relates to purchasing gift cards it should be reported to the police, but anyone worried about a scam caller can contact the DIBP.

Anyone with doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a business, organisation or government department is advised to contact the body directly. 'Don't rely on contact details provided by the person, find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search,' said the spokesman.

The police also pointed out that you can still receive scam calls even if you have a private number or have listed your number on the Australian Government's Do Not Call Register as scammers can obtain numbers fraudulently or from anywhere it has been publicly listed such as in a phone book.

'Don't let scammers pressure you. Scammers use detailed scripts to convince you that they're the real deal and create a high pressure situation to make a decision on the spot,' the spokesman added.

People are also advised to keep their computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall and only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.

They should never give personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless they have made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source and never give a stranger remote access to their computer, even if they claim to be from a reputable business.

Anyone who is worried that they may have provided their account details to a scammer are advised to contact their bank or financial institution immediately and anyone who has lost money as a result of this type of scam is asked to report the matter to their local Police Station.