ACT Policing and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) are alerting the community of a scam involving attempts to defraud members of the public over the past month.
Members of the community have reported receiving calls from individuals claiming to be employed by either DIBP or the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Scammers appear to be targeting people of Middle Eastern and Indian Sub-continental backgrounds.
The bogus representatives inform victims that there are issues with their immigration status and heavy fines or an arrest may follow. The scammers advise that a smaller fee can be paid online or through a Western Union account to avoid heavier penalties.
DIBP has confirmed that they never request payments over the phone or through international money transfer providers.
When more information regarding a visa application is required, DIBP will either contact the applicant or sponsor directly, or through their migration agent if they are using one.
DIBP is sharing information with the AFP and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in an attempt to combat this scam. Any information from the public may assist in identifying the perpetrators.
Anyone who is targeted or falls victim to the scam should contact the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.
The DIBP website also provides people with information on how to protect themselves from migration fraud and scams – visit www.immi.gov.au
If anyone experiences violent or stand over behaviour, please contact ACT Policing on 000 or 131 444.