Individuals and Travellers

Victims stories

Read the stories of people who became victims of fraud so the same thing does not happen to you.

Tricked by a non-genuine website

Mei was looking at a social networking website and noticed an advertisement for a visa to Australia. The contact details were Australian, so Mei believed the site was legitimate. After registering with the website, Mei received a call from someone in the company. The caller advised Mei she had been assessed eligible for a visa and all she needed to do was pay a fee. The caller was very convincing and Mei paid a fee of AUD600. Mei never heard from the company again. When she tried to follow up on her visa application and get her money back, she discovered the address and phone numbers listed on the website were false.

No help from unregistered agent

Abdul employed an education agent, who is not a registered migration agent, to help him obtain a student visa. The education agent made false financial documents, forged Abdul's signature on documents and did not advise Abdul that the department had asked for further documents. Investigation into the education agent is continuing. Given the circumstances, Abdul might have lost the opportunity to study in Australia.

Do n​ot listen to bad advice

To increase her chances to obtain permanent residency, Amy, on the advice of a friend, submitted documents that she knew were false. Amy's visa officer discovered that the documents Amy submitted were false and her visa was cancelled. As a result, Amy had to leave Australia immediately and she will not be able to return for at least three years.

An expensive lesson, learnt the hard way

Jill handed over AUD28 500 to a migration agent to lodge her visa application and to enrol her at an Australian university. Jill's migration agent was not registered and has since disappeared with her money. No visa application was lodged, nor was Jill enrolled at university. The Australian Federal Police and the department are currently investigating Jill's migration agent.

Online romance scam

Mr Jones met a woman from Africa on an internet chat site and she convinced him to invite her to Australia. He sent money for various travel expenses including airline tickets, passport and insurance. She then claimed that all of her valuables, which she was bringing with her to start their life together, were seized by customs. Mr Jones sent her money to bribe customs officials. Finally she said she needed him to come to Africa to help her leave. Mr Jones contacted the Australian Embassy in her country and they informed him that they hear of around 20 similar stories every year that turn out to be scams. They added that people from other nations who have been similarly scammed have been kidnapped on arrival and held for ransom.