UK: Fraudsters Target Migrant Workers and Foreign Students

In recent months, fraudsters in the UK, Australia and New Zealand have been targeting migrants, particularly international students, in a scam claiming money to clear up visa issues. They generally pose as false representatives or an immigration authority. In New Zealand fraudsters have raised over $70,000 from nearly 40 separate scams.

Here are some of the pointers on identifying the fraud below:

The general process:

  • The scam generally operates through the phone.

  •  They sometimes call from a masked number which may correlate to a government organisation.

  •  They may have personal information about you which will sound very convincing.

  • The perpetrators claim to be, for example, from the Home Office, The British High Commission or even Crime Stoppers, explain that there may be problems with your visa or immigration status.

  • In an attempt to scare migrants into paying, they often threaten extreme measures such as deportation or visa cancellation.

  • They will then ask for a heavy fee to resolve the fabricated situation.

Ways to avoid being scammed:

  • Neither UK, New Zealand nor Australian immigration services would ever ask for payments over the phone.

  • Ask questions or make the caller aware that you know about the scam.

  • Simply hang up.

  • Do not give away your personal information.

  • If you require reassurance make separate enquiries to the Home Office (or equivalent).

  • Report the fraud to the police.

  • Help others by reporting the incident at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

  • Details of what to do if you get an email, telephone call or letter from someone pretending to be the Home Office can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/frauds-tricks-and-scams

Who this affects:

Employers may wish to make migrant staff aware of the situation and encourage assignees to come to HR if they are contacted before taking any steps.

All visa applicants and holders should be aware of the threat.

Students are at particular risk and should contact their University or College if they have concerns.
 

Should you have any queries regarding this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Newland Chase