Some clients have reported receiving scam emails and telephone calls from people posing as United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) staff members. The UKBA is aware of these scams and also fake websites claiming to be operated by the government.
Scams reported include:
- Foreign criminals advertising fake UK jobs on the Internet. Individuals who apply are then directed to a link to pay for visa fees;
- Students at UK universities receiving calls from individuals who claim they work for the UKBA. The caller claims there is a problem with the student's visa application and instructs the student to make a payment immediately to prevent action being taken, including deportation;
- A request for payment of a deposit as proof that a migrant has sufficient funds to support their arrival in the UK until their first salary is received.
These criminals even have personal information relating to the migrant, such as their passport number or visa reference number, and may appear to be genuine. Migrants should also be aware that sometimes the email appears to be received from a UKBA source and the correct address will appear on the screen; i.e., email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, but when you click on the address, a different email address will be selected. Migrants should be vigilant, particularly when a request for payment is made.
The UKBA has reported the scams to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting center. The agency advises that if anyone believes they have received a suspicious call or email or accessed a suspicious website, they should not give out any personal information, confirm that any personal information they have is correct, or make any payment, and should report the matter online to Action Fraud or by calling Action Fraud at 0300-123-2040.