Scammers are calling visa holders and Australian citizens with threats of deportation, claiming that they have not filled out their forms correctly and must pay around $1,000 to have the forms resubmitted.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a statement calling for the public to be aware of scammers claiming to be government officials, often times targeting individuals from India and Pakistan.
“Anyone who receives this type of call seeking payment should ignore the demands for payment and hang up. Scammers may try to pressure you by repeatedly calling and harassing you – but if you give your money to a scammer you will never see it again,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“Don’t be fooled because someone has your personal information such as address, birth date, visa status or nationality because these details can be collected online through websites and social networking forums.”
Ms Rickard said the ACCC has received around 150 reports relating to scams of this kind since February alone, with over $35,000 in losses reported thus far.
People are being warned to be wary of those impersonating government officials, a caution backed by confirmation from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that payment requests are never made over the phone or through international money transfer providers.
“Never send money or give your account details to a stranger. Alarm bells should go off if you are asked for international wire transfers, as these transactions are almost impossible to trace. Scammers may not only steal what’s in your account but use what you have provided to steal your identity.”