On a daily basis we are becoming aware of visa scams that target vulnerable and innocent people looking at starting a life in Australia. The scams can come in many forms for example via phone, email or a referral from an acquaintance.
There are other types of visa scams of course, job offer scams, maritime scams and of course the online dating scam. There is a television show called Catfish on MTV which deals directly with online dating scams. These are not generally for visa purposes, however there are everyday people that are in false relationships. More often than not, are not they are not who they say they are.
Never give large sums of money to anyone, even if you’ve been in an online relationship for years. There are syndicates who prey on single lonely people and lull them into false hopes of a better life in another country via emails and phone calls. Please do your research, if you’re already a savvy Internet user please Google names and places. More often than not if it feels dodgy, then it most probably is.
Any legitimate migration agent will be registered, so never give money to a third party to pass on to an agent, the reality will most likely be there is no agent/ no job offer/ no spousal visa or no work visa and thus part of visa scams. A legitimate migration agent will not take a case they do not think they can win. There are plenty of shark agents that will take your money with out even blinking, knowing upfront they wont get your visa approved. Most agents will have a small consultation fee while they get up to speed on your case, but not all upfront before a word has been uttered.
If you have more questions or think you have been a part of a visa scam or know about visa scams in place, please get in touch with DIBP or with Phillip Silver and Associates by email so that we can help you firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on (02) 97085954