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UK Immigration warns of scams

On 29th November 2012, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) issued a warning about 'fake UK Border Agency websites and calls'. The warning advises people who want to work in the UK and students who are already studying in the UK to be aware of a number of frauds that are being carried out by criminals pretending to work for the UKBA.

The statement warns firstly of websites offering fake UK jobs online. Foreign nationals who apply for a job will receive a response saying that they have been successful. They are then directed to a link and asked to pay for a UK Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa and work permit. The UKBA warns people not to apply for visas or to make payments on these sites. They are not operated by the UKBA. You cannot get a visa in this way.

The statement also warns about a telephone scam targeted at overseas nationals already studying in the UK. These students may receive a phone call from someone claiming to work for the UK immigration authorities. The caller will give a false name and a contact number. The caller will explain that there is a serious problem with the student's immigration status and request an immediate payment to prevent deportation. The UKBA warns people not to pay.

In another scam, a caller claiming to work for UK immigration authorities may contact a foreign national newly arrived in the UK to work, perhaps with a tier 2 (general) visa. The caller will ask the victim to pay a deposit immediately to prove that he has sufficient funds to support himself until he receives his first salary payment. The UKBA warns students and workers not make payments. The UKBA does not ask for payments over the phone in this way. It has reported the scams it knows about to the police. It adds that there may be other frauds it does not know about.

The UKBA advises anyone who has received suspicious calls or e-mails or has seen a suspicious website to report it to the police's Action Fraud website (www.actionfraud.police.uk) or to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

It also advises that the genuine UKBA website is to be found at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk and warns students to be sure to check that they are not directed to other, non-government, email addresses from sites that seem to belong to the UK immigration authorities. It warns students to check any addresses used on letters that they receive, which claim to be from the UKBA, against a list of contact details to be found on the UKBA website.

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