While a number potential migrants from India have fallen victims to fake job offers allegedly issued by Indian employers or their agents and suffered the consequences with Immigration New Zealand, a new fraudulent scheme has come to light in recent weeks.
Some fraudsters are using the names of well- established companies and issue job offers on the letterheads of the establishments to lure job seekers and those keen on migrating to New Zealand. A majority of them become victims but those who suspect the veracity of these offers approach us and learn that they were targets for cheats.
Nallathambi (not his real name), a resident of Madurai received an appointment letter from a well-established industry in South Auckland. He was elated but became suspicious when he received a letter purported to be from ‘the New Zealand Embassy Attorney in India’ at the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi. The letter asked him to ‘register his application’ for visa and other purposes on payment of Rs 13950 (about $270) and that such registration would be recognised by the New Zealand Council Officials for issue of travel documents.
“So I urge you to proceed and make the payment for the Registration and inform me. As soon as we confirmed the payment of your registration, your files will be opened immediately and I will proceed with those required documents. As soon as the entire required document is secured, Appointment will be granted to you to visit our office in Mumbai for signatory of all relevant documents that will be secured by me on your behalf,” the letter said.
We found a number of blunders in the letter. The name and address of the company offering the job was correct but the telephone number was wrong; it mentioned the salary in US dollars (not the norm here) and several phrases that are not used in an employment letter. We advised Nallathambi that there is neither a New Zealand Attorney at the New Zealand High Commission (not Embassy) nor a New Zealand Council official in Delhi. We also noticed, somewhat to our amusement that the letter sent to him was signed by a Mrs Thing.
Fraud in Britain
The second case of fraud referred to us was from a nurse in India.
She sent us a letter of appointment issued by a famous hospital in Auckland, appointing her at a ‘Multi-National Facility’ in UK.
The letter said, among other things (verbatim), “We are pleased to offer you Employment in our reputed organisation as Assistant Counselor, based on your educational background, work experience and for the fact that saving life is our first priority. Your Job Descriptions shall be made known to you after the training period of six months. After receiving this Agreement Letter duly signed by you, we shall contact you for Appointment/Offer Letter, added the directions on how to obtain your visa from the UK Immigration Officer in your Country, whom will be processing your working Visa Documents.”
The contact number in London given in the letter of appointment turned out to be a house, and on hearing our name that we are from New Zealand, disconnected the line. Attempts to talk to him thereafter were futile.
An employment lawyer said that such cases of fraud will increase following a rise in demand for jobs in countries like New Zealand, Australia, UK, US and Canada.
“In these days of Internet, it is easy to check the name of the company that supposedly makes job offers, contact the person concerned and check if the contents of the employment letter are true. The New Zealand High Commission and its consulate offices will be able to help as well,” he said.
Editor’s Note: If you or someone known to you has been a victim or potential victim of such fraud, please email firstname.lastname@example.org