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News & Views Beware of fake UKBA emails


The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has warned people to beware of scam emails and websites and calls made by people posing as its staff. For example students at a number of UK universities have received calls from individuals who claim they work for the UKBA, giving a false name and a return phone number. Others have received a request for payment of a deposit as proof that they have sufficient funds to support arrival in the UK until the first salary is received. Additional scams known to UKBA include:


• Websites offering jobs in the UK that do not exist. If you apply for one, they tell you that you have the job and ask you to pay visa and work permit fees. The UKBA points out that this is not how then visa system works, and there are no shortcuts to a job in the UK.


• A person pretends to be a UK Border Agency officer and goes to someone’s home to ask for money to process their partner’s visa. UKBA says it will never visit anyone at home to collect money.


• People who claim they work for the UK Border Agency call and says there is a serious problem with the visa. They ask the person to send money as soon as possible to prevent some kind of action, such as deportation or cancellation of the visa.


• Fake websites designed to look like official ones for the UK government or its official visa enquiry services. The advice given by UKBA is that if you feel you have received a suspicious call or email, or come across a suspicious website, do not give out any personal information, or confirm that any personal information they have is correct; do not make any payment;


and report the matter online to action fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) or by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Always use the official UK Border Agency website by typing: www.ukba. homeoffice.gov.uk into the internet browser.


Official UK government websites will have a .gov.uk at the end of their website address. When emailing, you should also ensure that the email address is genuine. It stresses finally that no UK government agency will use free email accounts such as hotmail, yahoomail, or gmail to contact anyone.


Spice Business Magazine


19


January/February 2013


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