Hyderabad: From assurances of a good life on foreign shores to promises of their dream jobs, the baits that visa fraudsters use to trap innocent job aspirants and those looking to settle abroad are many.
With the number of youngsters looking for jobs on the rise, the number of such fraudsters too is on the rise, with visa frauds now being commonplace. The situation has prompted several visa agencies, who are also at the receiving end of such frauds since crooks misuse their names to convince victims, to come forward with measures to counter visa frauds.
The measures, which included awareness campaigns on social media, SMSes, call centre voice messages, anti-fraud notifications and so on, have begun showing results, according to officials at VFS Global, one of the largest visa processing consultancies around with centres in 147 countries.
VFS, its officials said, used to receive several complaints, most of them relating to false promises of immigration or job offers in countries such as Australia, Canada, and the UK. Scamsters had posed as fake employers or immigration agents offering jobs or immigration, falsely claiming to be from VFS Global; or send spoof emails to impersonate heads or key departments of the company, mostly from mail ids similar to those of VFS Global; apart from cloning VFS Global’s web page to convince the victims.
However, the anti-fraud measures have resulted in a 32 per cent decrease in phishing complaints in 2018 compared to 2017, company representatives said, adding that many of the complaints were regarding fake letters or emails sent in the name of VFS Global, from entities falsely claiming to be associated with the company, mostly offering job or immigration services. Most complaints originated from residents in South Asia (mainly India), followed by Middle East.
Anti-fraud measures by recruitment and visa consultancies, including awareness campaigns, and immediate reporting to the police would bring down the number of visa frauds.