SCAMwatch and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) are warning people who wish to visit or migrate to Australia to be cautious of people offering ‘guaranteed’ Australian visas.
These scammers contact you out of the blue by post, email, or phone offering a visa in return for payments, personal details and identity documents. They may claim to be a ‘registered provider’ or ‘Australian visa application service’.
Scammers may try to trick you into believing they are genuine by posing as staff from an Australian Government department, or by using websites which look like official Government sites.
Illegal operators often give incorrect advice, steal your money, encourage you to lie on your application and don’t deliver the services promised.
You get an offer out of the blue for a ‘guaranteed’ Australian visa.
The offer comes via email, post, over the phone or on a website.
It claims to be a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, or your ‘only’ chance to travel or migrate to Australia.
You are asked to pay the scammer upfront to ‘register’ your interest in getting a visa. The scammer asks you to pay them directly rather than paying the government department and claims that only they can pay the department’s fees.
The scammer claims to have a special relationship with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
They tell you they need to keep your original documents.
There is only one official Australian Government provider of visas - the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). DIAC’s official website is www.immi.gov.au.
DIAC charges a one-off fee at the time you lodge your visa application. You can pay the fee directly to the department and do not require an agent to pay this fee on your behalf.
No one can influence the outcome of a visa application or the visa decision making process. Only authorised officers from DIAC can issue you with a visa and only if you meet all the visa requirements.
DIAC does not have any special relationships with outside agencies and doesn’t give preferential treatment to anyone.
Be suspicious if you are contacted by phone, post or email about a visa you did not apply for. Hang up immediately or ignore the email/letter! The Government does not contact people out of the blue offering.
Never give or send anyone your original identity documents. Government departments may wish to view your original documents in person or may ask for certified photocopies but should never ask to keep your original documents.
Never provide your personal, credit card or banking details in an email or over the phone—scammers will use your details to commit identity fraud or steal your money.
If you think you have provided your bank account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
You can report a scam to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.