Sometimes you may receive communications from fraudsters pretending to be FBP International who request that you supply personal details, account passwords, credit card details, and/or payment. Please do not entertain such communications.
FBP International endeavours to ensure that all personal communication between our clients and us, conducted through our secure ICT Infrastructure. We do not accept any payments in cash or any other mode besides our online payment gateway system. All payments are made directly to the FBP International Australian Head Office via the online payment gateway, ensuring protection against fraudulent activities. Please ensure that you do not make any transactions via cash, cheque, or bank transfer with any sales agents and/or FBP International representatives.
Australian Visa Scams
Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages, and income levels. The Department of Home Affairs provides detailed information on how to protect yourself from migration fraud.
Some of the recent scams and warnings we have come across are listed in the section below.
- You get an offer for a ‘guaranteed’ Australian visa or an offer for Family Resettlement in Australia.
- The offer comes via email, post, over the phone, on a website, or even face-to-face.
- A visa is offered in return for payments, personal details, and identity documents.
- The person making the offer claims to know someone in the Australian High Commission and may present as a ‘registered agent’ or ‘Australian visa application service’.
- 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 Home Affairs.
- They tell you they need to keep your original documents.
- They may try to trick you into believing they are genuine by posing as staff from an Australian Government department or using websites that look like official Government sites.
- They commonly give you incorrect advice, ask you to lie on application forms, demand money, and fail to deliver services.
What to Remember
- There is only one official Australian Government provider of visas – the Department of Home Affairs (HA). HA’s official website is www.homeaffairs.gov.au.
- If you receive an email from the HA processing office in Australia, the email address must end in “@abf.gov.au” or “@homeaffairs.gov.au”.
- It is easy for illegal operators to copy a real website or build one that looks professional. Even if one character is different, it can mean another website or an email address.
- 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. Visas are granted only by authorized officers from HA if the relevant visa requirements are met.
How to Protect Yourself
- Be suspicious if you are contacted by phone, post, email, or approached in person about a visa you did not apply for. The department does not contact people offering visas or asking for money to rectify a mistake. Any new information it is always updated on the Department of Home Affair’s official website www.homeaffairs.gov.au.
- If you wish to use an Australian migration agent, check if it is registered on the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority website (https://www.mara.gov.au)
- Never give or send anyone your original identity documents. Government departments may wish to view your original documents in person or 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.
- Never provide private information online unless it is a secure site and you know who you are dealing with. Secure sites are locked with a padlock in the browser window or secure URL at the beginning of the address (that is, HTTP://Link)
- Job offers should be approached with caution and verified with the business in Australia.
Where to Report Incidents
- People with information about migration scams or illegal operators should contact Australian Home Affairs via http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about/contact/immigration-and-citizenship-online-report
- If you are the victim of a scam, report it to your local police. You can also report it to the website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
- ACCC’s website. See www.scamwatch.gov.au.