The Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Australia has cautioned immigrants against immigration agents who are not Registered Migration Agents. It has said that it is anxious owing to recent incidents of scam phone calls to immigrant applicants. The Department said that these fraudsters request money with the applicants for advancing their visa applications.
The DIBP has further elaborated that these fake callers identify themselves as employees of the department and introduce themselves with a first name. It has clarified that the department never makes a request for money over phone calls, as quoted by the Border Gov Au.
The department has said that it is illegal for agents to offer immigration service’s if they are not Registered Migration Agents. They must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority as per the Migration Act 1958, added the department.
DIBP elaborated on the risks posed by these illegal agents by saying that they could provide you with misleading and incorrect advice. The benefit of consumer protection will also not be available, it added. The department has asked to be watchful if:
• You are not offered any receipt and are asked to make upfront payment only via cash
• The fee appears to be very exorbitant
• The agent does not offer you a statement of fees and services or a contract
• You are not given any address for correspondence
• The agent offers you only a mobile phone number or post office box number
• The MARN or Migration Agents Registration Number is not advertised
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