Delhi job agency dupes people with fake Oz visas

Delhi job agency dupes people with fake Oz visas

An employment agency in South-West Delhi has defrauded over 50 people of lakhs of rupees by providing them fake visas to travel to and work in Australia.

The High Commission of Australia in New Delhi on Monday warned people about the fake visa scam, after it came to know that over 50 people had been provided fake work visas by the employment agency.

The agency allegedly created a fake website for its clients to check online the genuineness of the visas it had provided them.

“Australia does not have a work visa program of the sort being promoted by the scammers,” a spokesperson of the High Commission of Australia in New Delhi said in a statement issued on Monday. “Our Temporary Skills Shortage work visa is run only with approved sponsors, and only for applicants with specific skills in demand in Australia.”

The High Commission's warning came in the wake of more than 50 people contacting it in the recent weeks after paying lakhs of rupees for work visas. They all found out later that they had been duped.

The High Commission expressed concern over “growing number of victims and advises any potential visa applicants to exercise caution when visa agencies offer jobs”.

“Some of the recent victims have said they paid up to Rs 50,000 just for a non-existent airfare and a medical check with an unauthorised clinic, in addition to all the other fees they have been charged (by the employment agency),” the High Commission stated.

“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 have also had to pay to undergo a medical examination in a medical facility also located in South Delhi, that is not associated with Australia’s approved panel of physicians,” it added.

The agency also provided the victims with fake visa grant notices, which linked to a non-genuine visa checking service on a fake website.

'Report scam'

“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 proof the agent is not duping them – but actually, it is still all fake,” clarified the spokesperson.

Some of the victims purportedly told the officials of the High Commission of Australia that they were in the process of seeking assistance from local law enforcement agencies.

“We 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,” the High Commission said in its communique.

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