Callers pose as Immigration New Zealand staff and demand payment from applicants for the purpose of attending a telephone interview with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on behalf of Immigration New Zealand.
How it works
The callers are quite persistent and aggressive and they have personal details of the person they are speaking to which makes the caller think it could be genuine. The calls also appear to be coming from the Immigration Contact Centre number, but in fact they are not. We call this practice a caller id spoofing scam.
Immigration New Zealand first posted a warning about the scam on its website on 20 October 2013. Since then almost 300 Indian nationals have reported being called by the scammers, with reported losses of close to $65,000, according to figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
How to stay safe
Knowing about the common types and the typical red flags can help avoid being scammed. Banks, Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue never email, call or SMS customers to ask for information or money to be sent using money transfer services. If you receive one of these calls do not pay the money. Contact the New Zealand Police or report the call to Scamwatch.
- Hang up immediately.
- If it doesn’t seem right, be cautious, double-check details first.
- Do not pay money to anyone you have never met.
- Look after your personal details in the same way you would your wallet and other possessions. Your personal details are also very valuable to scammers, they will use your details to take out loans or run up debts if they can.
- Be aware of common scams. For example, banks, Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue never email, call or SMS customers to ask for information. If you receive a request like that, it’s a scam.
Warn others. If you have been targeted by a scam, report it straight away to Scamwatch and help prevent others from becoming the next scam victim.
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