Indian migrants in Australia who recently returned to the country are being targeted by scammers claiming to be the foreign affairs and immigration departments’ officials, said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The perpetrators call from a phone number seeming to belong to the legal federal government and tell victims that they had given false information during their departure or visa documents when they returned to Australia. They are then being asked to surrender to police or cough up a fine of A$1,000 through Western Union wire transfer in order to avoid deportation. The scam is said to be taking advantage of apprehensions being harboured by the people over amendments to citizenship laws and the scrapping of the 457 visa program.
Scamwatch is said to have received over 20 reports in May as at least five persons handed over personal information and paid over $6,200 totally.
The ACCC was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying that the scam seemed genuine as the phone number that appears as the caller ID is an authentic number of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The scammers, it averred, could be using a device that camouflages their number and with another one replacing it.
Delia Rickard, Deputy chair of ACCC, said to prevent this scam, people should ignore the phone calls they receive from people posing to be from a government agency by hanging them up.
She said that if Indian Australians feel suspicious about a person claiming to be from a government department, they should contact the ACCC directly. Rickard also cautioned them against using any email addresses, phone numbers or websites that the caller provides and also verify them through the online search or a phone book.
It was stated that government departments never ask for wire transfers.
If you want to migrate to Australia, get in touch with Y-Axis, a leading immigration consultant, to apply for a visa.