The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has urged visa holders to hang up on individuals impersonating departmental officers seeking payment to fix ‘visa irregularities’.
The phone scammers are targeting international communities in Australia, including Indian nationals holding temporary resident visas.
Students from overseas and subclass 457 visa holders in the information and communications technology industry are among those in the fraudsters’ sights.
A departmental spokesman said it was a well organised ruse to con visa holders into transferring a purported ‘penalty payment’ offshore when none is needed.
“DIAC has received information from a number of Indian clients who have been contacted by people claiming to be from immigration-related agencies,” the spokesman said.
“Conmen claiming to be from fabricated ‘Immigration’ or ‘border security’ agencies tell targets their visa details are out of date, specifying an identification number.
“The caller asks them to ‘confirm’ their identification details, then requests an immediate penalty payment to an offshore address, or else their visa will be cancelled and they could be jailed.
“Anyone phoned by people seeking such payments should refuse to pay, tell the caller you are aware of their scam, that you will be reporting the matter to police, and then hang up,” the departmental spokesman said.
DIAC requested that people who are contacted by the scammers report such incidents to the relevant state or territory police and to the DIAC Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.