Australian immigration warns student visa holders of scam

Published:  18 Feb at 6 PM
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Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship has recently issued scam warnings to international students on student visas. The scammers are hitting on overseas students in the country whose student visas allow them to work for a limited number of days in every month.

Individuals posing as immigration officials are approaching students with notices giving fines for working longer hours than are allowed and breaching their visa conditions. Immigration department officials have been receiving complaints from students who have been forced to pay thousands of A$ after being accused of working more than 40 hours in every two weeks.

According to an immigration spokesperson, the scam is well-organised, as the so-called ‘penalty payments’ have to be sent by bank transfer to what has been proven to be an offshore bank account. The spokesperson added that the scammers are claiming to work for immigration-linked agencies, insisting they know the working regulations of the students’ visas have been breached and advising a fine has been levied which must be paid in full by bank transfer immediately.

All such requests to persons on student visas, according to the immigration spokesperson, should be refused and should immediately be reported at the nearest police station, together with a description of the scammer. Reports should also be made to state or territory police and to the immigration hotline on 1800 009 623.
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