These scams occur when you are applying for a visa or visa waiver to travel to another company, only to discover that you have entered your details and/or paid money online to a fraudulent website. These websites aim to:
Please note that there are companies that will process your visa or visa waiver application, but may charge more for this service than if you were to use the official government channels. This can also increase the risk of your information becoming exposed due to on-selling of the data to other companies, a data breach or insecure transfer of information from the company to the visa issuing agency. Depending on the integrity of the organisation and the rules governing data breaches in that country, you may not be advised if your data is compromised.
Common signs that you may have submitted a visa or waiver application to a fraudulent site include:
If you are concerned that the company you have engaged to process your visa or waiver may not be legitimate, contact the embassy directly to confirm if your application has been received.
There is a risk that your passport may be used fraudulently for identification purposes. You may wish to cancel your passport to reduce the risk (Australian passports contact DFAT on 131 232, for NZ passports contact DIA on 0800 22 50 50). If you do not wish to cancel your passport, IDCARE recommends that you:
If you provided your credit card details, contact your financial institution to advise them of the fraudulent payment, request additional security on your card, and seek advice regarding cancelling the card.
Report the scam – you may not hear back from the agencies, but you will be assisting in raising awareness and reducing the harm caused by these scams to your community.
For additional support or information, contact IDCARE by submitting a Get Help Form or call 1800 595 160 (Aus) or 0800 121 068 (NZ).
Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd (IDCARE) provides identity and cyber security incident response services (the Services) in accordance with the following disclaimer of service:
IDCARE as a registered charity does not ask individuals to donate or pay for our front line services. We are not a charity that can receive tax deductible donations.
We rely on organisations that care enough about you to care about us to keep our charitable service going. Proudly these organisations are displayed above and on our Subscriber Organisations page.
If you are asked for payment from someone claiming to be from IDCARE, please report this to us using our Report Phishing email.
IDCARE has access to the Department of Social Services’ Free Interpreting Service, delivered by the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Access to the Free Interpreting Service is provided to assist you to communicate with non-English speaking people who hold a Medicare card. Please note that the service does not extend to New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold an Australian Medicare card, or to tourists, overseas students or people on temporary work visas.
New Zealand Relay provides services to help Deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, Deafblind and standard phone users communicate with their peers.
A TTY user connects to New Zealand Relay via a toll-free number and types their conversation to a Relay Assistant (RA) who then reads out the typed message to a standard phone user (hearing person).
The RA relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the Textphone (TTY) User.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian government initiative that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls.
The NRS is available 24 hours a day, every day and relays more than a million calls each year throughout Australia.
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IDCARE acknowledges and Respects the traditional custodians of the land on which we operate across Australia and New Zealand.
This website may contain names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori peoples.