The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has received 300 reports about a new immigration scam targeting migrants with more than $150,000 reported lost.
The scam sees people pretending to be from the Department of Immigration targeting migrants and visa holders, claiming there are problems with their immigration paperwork or visa status and they need to pay a fee to correct the problem and avoid deportation. These scammers often glean personal information from social media, making the demands seem more legitimate.
“Recently these scammers have been going one step further, threatening the arrest of loved ones or claiming they have already been arrested or detained. They demand payment through wire transfers or iTunes gift cards.
“Scammers may try to pressure migrants by calling incessantly and harassing them, even threatening to send the police to their houses. Simply hang up and do not respond. If you give your money to a scammer you will never see it again,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.
You can find out more information about the scam and how to protect yourself on the Australian Government’s SCAM WATCH website.