Immigration fraudsters ensnare more victims

Auckland City District Police have issued another warning to the Indian community to be aware of people posing themselves as officials of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and compelling them to transfer funds under the pretext of non-compliance of immigration rules.

Detective Sergeant Graham Shand of the Financial Crime Unit told Indian Newslink that the number of complaints had risen in recent weeks.

A large number of victims appear to be from the Indian community and the complaints involved people pretending to be from INZ officials, he said.

“The imposters tell the victims that they have filled their arrival cards incorrectly and as a result incurred a fine. The imposters then order the victims to transfer funds into an overseas account,” he said.

Detective Shand said that the Auckland City District Police were interested in trying to prevent such fraud.

The fraudsters use different methods to extract money from their targets.

Two victims

Two Indians, who were victims of such fraud last fortnight, spoke to us of their experience.

Shivam Bakshi (26) said that he lost $2400 to the scam, scared that he may lose his legal status if he did not comply with the demand immediately.

He arrived from India in February 2011 and obtained Level 5 Diploma in Professional Cookery. INZ granted him a work visa based on a job offer.

PR error

“I recently received Permanent Residence visa. About two weeks ago, a person claiming to be from INZ in Delhi called me to say that there was an error in my PR application and that unless a penalty is paid, my status would be revoked. The caller asked me not to disconnect the telephone, stay on the line, go to the nearest Western Union money exchange facility and transfer $2400 to a designated account. I later realised that I have been taken for a ride and filed a complaint with the Auckland Police,” he said.

Work Visa

Sudeesh Nair, who came to New Zealand on a student visa in 2010, completed a postgraduate course in Hospitality Management at AUT, Following jobs elsewhere, he joined the staff of a five-star hotel in the city.

“I filed an application to INZ for renewal of my Work Visa on January 13, 2014. About a fortnight later, I received a call purported to be from INZ. The caller asked me to remit $2815 immediately at a Western Union outlet, failing which my application will be denied. I complied with the demand immediately but found out later that this was fraud,” he said.

Nair has also filed a complaint with the Police, although he knows that there is little chance of redeeming the money.

As such incidents rise, we request readers to be cautious and report to the nearest INZ office or Police Station.

They can also write to editor@indiannewslink.co.nz

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