Australia Visa Scams – Immigration Minister Issues Warning

The new Australian Immigration minister, Chris Bowen, has issued a warning to prospective migrants about migration scammers.

“It is vital that people are aware of fraudsters’ tricks before handing over money for immigration assistance which is never provided,” Mr Bowen said.

“This is why the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has launched a new online consumer protection resource to help people to learn about migration scams online and safeguard against scams.

The ‘Protect Yourself from Migration Fraud’ information kit includes victims’ stories, tips to stay safe online, information on how to identify non-genuine websites and fraudulent emails, links to consumer resources and a video testimonial.

A common tactic of these sites is the use of language such as ‘registered provider’ or ‘Australian visa application service. They claim that they can ‘guarantee’ a visa, this is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ or it is your ‘only chance’ to travel or migrate to Australia.”

In the most prevalent scam, clients are invited to register online before a salesperson contacts them and asks them to provide credit card details. Charges are then debited to their card but no migration services are provided.

Migration fraud involves illegal operators posing as migration professionals. In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

The information kit has been developed following an increase in complaints about internet migration scams, which often appear to be official Australian Government websites.

To find out more information about Australian migration scams visit http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/forms/services/services-form.htm

9 Replies to “Australia Visa Scams – Immigration Minister Issues Warning”

  1. I am thinking of visiting Australia and just applied for a short term visa to visit. It appears “after” I put in my information that this site may NOT be duly authorized to supply visas and my have taken me for $53 USD. I’m extremely disappointed and if the case, I suppose I will not be visiting Australia and will spend my vacation dollars elsewhere.

    This scheme to obtain tourist visas is very discouraging and I’m sure–if my case is indeed correct–harming your tourism.

  2. hi, it is really a sad thing to be victimized from such cases as it leaves us traumatized…well we are also maybe a victim of this scam. Actually we had done our assessment which according to my agent went well for my husband. we carried on with the process as the reply kept occurring. my family was happy as the final paper for the PR was lodged which required a lot of money. we were waiting for the reply for medical when after some time we were notified that we didn’t take any action within the time frame and we were informed that our paper work can not be processed anymore. we are still in trauma because we have lost all our savings. however, upon writing and investigating from the department concerned in Australia we were told there’s no record on our case that is neither assessment or PR lodgement. Its kinda funny as how these things work. we have all the papers here with us so can any one tell us what went wrong. i really need some genuine reply as what can be done.

  3. i was asked to pay 491 euro,and i did.. they charged my credit card and later i realized it seems like a scam..they calling me and asking me some questions and they keep written me email that i am kind of confused..is weird..

  4. Hi, i think i was scamed by the ausfis website, i usually do searchs about companies before i pay something but this time i was fooled, i did my payment in february is there any way i can have my money back or any legal way to have a lawsuit againts this company because of a service they promise and is not provided as such ?

  5. I have also been a recent victim of this scam. i had paid about 2500 AUD towards consultation fee, this agent also collected visa charge 2525 AUD even before i get my skills accessed.
    This was really one of the worst experience of my life. it caused me a lot of mental agony and frustration from loosing my life savings. I am an indian, and this money is a really a big deal for us. it was actually my life savings from past 4 years

  6. Hello to Lisa and Drazen,

    There are migrations scams on the internet. Lisa in relation to Ausfis from my online searches it does look like a scam. I am not sure how you can get your money back. It is very unfortunate, if you used your credit card then perhaps you should contact the credit card company and report the scam, see if they have some kind of reporting mechanism.

    Drazen – do not give them your credit card details.

    Normally as a registered migration agent, I will give some one an initial assessment. If they wish to become a client, formal client agreement is emailed to them, with a copy of Information on regulation of migration agents in Australia which by law I must provide. Be careful of people calling on behalf of businesses asking for payment without having any formal agreements with you.

    You can verify who is a registered migration agent at http://www.mara.gov.au

    Kind regards,
    Mege Dalton
    Ausralian registered migration agent 0501113

  7. Dear Sirs,

    I was contacted today by a sales person form a website that I checked while searching information about migration visas to Australia. They tried in all ways to get me to pay around 400 € to get into the program. When I refused to give them all the data form my credit card, they gave me a discount of 150 €. Of course, I still didn’t feel comfortable paying any amount without knowing what it’s all about. So, I was transferred to another agent, that insisted a while. The only way to finish this conversation was to say that I have to think about it. So, I’m expecting their call again in 4 hours.
    Then number I was called form is +1-718-660-9970.

    I would really like to know if it was a scam or not.

    Sincerely yours,

    Drazen Toic

  8. we applied for immigration to Australia through Ausfis and they called for a payment of 400 euro we did pay the money and now i see all over the net that it could be a scam how do i find out if it is or not hope you can help me out on this matter please

    many thanks Lisa Davitt

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