The Australian High Commission has issued a cautionary warning on August 20, asking potential visa applicants to exercise caution while applying for a visa.
The press release stated that a new visa scam is allegedly being perpetrated by an employment agency operating in South-West Delhi, India.
It stated that more than 50 people have approached the High Commission in recent weeks after paying lakhs of money for visa work only to be informed that they have become a victim of another visa scam.
“The Australian High Commission is concerned about the growing number of victims and advises any potential visa applicants to exercise caution when visa agencies offer jobs,” the press release stated.
The spokesperson from the Australian High Commission is quoted saying that Australia does not have a work visa programme of the sort that is being promoted by scammers. “Our Temporary Skills Shortage work visa is run only with approved sponsors and only for applicants with specific skills in demand in Australia.”
It also stated that some victims have said they paid up to INR 50,000 for a non-existent airfare and a medical check with an authorised clinic, in addition to all the other fees they have charged.
The press release stated that in addition to being charged for job placement – sometimes with bogus job offers using the names of genuine, well-known companies in Australia- and visa lodgement fees, the victims were also made to pay for medical examination in a medical facility also located in South Delhi that is not associated with Australia’s approved panel physicians.
It also stated that the agency provided victims with a fake visa grant notice, which links to a non-genuine visa checking service on a fake website. “We have seen clones of our website before but the newest versions link to a fake visa checking site that only contains the visa details concocted by the agent. This may look convincing to someone who is wanting to prove the agent is not duping them but actually, it is still all fake.”
The Australian High Commission stated they work with website hosts to take down fake websites but the scammers often start up again with a different site. “We encourage victims of this and other scams to promptly report this illegal activity to local authorities.”