Immigration Scams hitting new Arrivals to Australia
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warns that recent immigration scams can cost Australian immigrants thousands of dollars.
Scammers are using social media to find out personal information to target migrants. They use fear of deportation to make immigrants pay substantial amounts of money.
Main findings of the ACCC:
300 reports have been received about the scam since March, with victims losing an average $2,600 each
The Indian community is reported to be bearing the brunt of the scam
Scammers are telling victims there is an issue with their migration documents or the migration paperwork of a relative
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said:
"What happens is you get a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the Department of Immigration and Border Control saying that there's a problem with your paperwork and that you need to pay a fee, otherwise you may be deported.”
"They can be very persistent, very harassing, call over and over again."
According to Ms Rickard, two separate scams are currently in operation.
The first scam operates on telling their victim there is a problem with their migration paperwork.
In the second one, the scammer tells the victim there is an issue with the migration documents of a family member applying to come to Australia.
They come up with very nasty threats and scare people with imprisonment. They request payments and transfers via Western Union or through iTunes gift cards. The ACCC warns that one of the ways scammers are making their demands seem more legitimate is by gleaning personal information from social media.
The ACCC warns people if you get one of these calls, just hang up. No one has been caught so far. Most scam phone calls come from overseas which makes it almost impossible to catch and detect the scammers, and so the best defence is getting the message out there about them.