Immigration scam targets migrants April 2015
SCAMwatch is warning consumers to be aware of calls from scammers claiming to be from the 'Department of Immigration' threatening you with deportation and demanding money.
The ACCC and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have been getting reports of scammers claiming to be government officials. The scammers call migrants and temporary visa holders and threaten them with deportation supposedly because of problems with their immigration paperwork or visa status. Scammers are demanding up-front fees of around $1,000 to resubmit forms. These scam phone calls appear to be targeting people from India and Pakistan.
The ACCC has received 150 reports of this scam since February with more than $35,000 reported lost. Scammers may try to pressure you by calling repeatedly and harassing you, even threatening to send the police to your house - but if you give your money to a scammer you will never see it again. The DIBP has confirmed that it does not ask for any payment of fines or penalties by telephone.
Be on guard, if you receive a phone call from someone threatening you with deportation and asking you to pay a fee, hang up and do not respond.
If in doubt, don't use any contact details provided by the caller - look up the government department or organisation yourself in the phone book or online and phone or email them.