Community, Diaspora and Immigration
UK New online visa scam lures unsuspecting jobseekers
Online scammers have launched a new series of attacks on unsuspecting jobseekers looking to immigrate into the United Kingdom in a bid to find work.
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants discovered several con schemes whereby attractive positions in the UK are posted on well-known online platforms, especially pertaining to the hospitality industry, giving false promises to facilitate work permit procedures – at a certain transaction charge. Once the alleged visa fee is handed over to the online scammers or personal bank details are exchanged, the hopeful jobseekers never hear from these alleged employers again and lose all the money they had paid.
Breytenbachs recommends that the safest way to avoid falling victim to such scam artists is to do your own homework, especially by verifying that the job posts are legit. You should contact the company in question directly and find out what positions are up for grabs and who is in charge of hiring new staff, i.e. the name of the HR manager. But take care to find the applicable contact numbers and email addresses yourself rather than using the ones posted on advertisements, as these are likely to lead right into the arms of scammers.
Also be wary of anyone who claims to work for a popular corporation while using a private email account, as this is another red flag hinting at online scams.
Watch out for any definite job offers without an actual interview taking place. Any employer would always want to meet a candidate before hiring him or her – why should it be any different when applying online? However, the most obvious warning sign for dealing with such scammers is the exchange of money: if they ask you to pay for any alleged fees upfront you should run the other way. Work permits and visas are always financed by the person applying for them and not by any employer or any other sponsor.
Make sure that you never give out any banking details online and don’t send any money to people you don’t know. Western Union and MoneyGram are often used as conduits by money launderers and scammers.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.