The UK Border Agency has warned the public to beware of a number of scam e-mails and websites claiming to be sent and operated by the Agency; and of calls made by people posing as their staff.
Scams the UKBA is aware of include
– Foreign criminals advertising fake UK jobs on the internet. Individuals that apply are told they have a job and are directed to a link to pay for visa and work permit fees. These websites are not operated by the UKBA, and you should not click on any of the links or pay any money.
– Students at a number of UK universities have received calls from individuals who claim they work for the UK Border Agency, giving a false name and a return phone number. These calls are not from the UK Border Agency. The caller may appear to be genuine and convincing and explain that there is a serious problem with your immigration status, and that you need to send a payment as soon as possible to prevent further action including deportation.
– A request for payment of a deposit as proof that you have sufficient funds to support your arrival in the UK until your first salary is received.
The Agency has reported the scams it is aware of to action fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre. There may also be other scams which have not been brought to the UKBA’s attention.
If you believe that you received a suspicious call or e-mail, 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
– Do report the matter online to action fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) or by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
You should always access the official UK Border Agency website by typing: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk into your internet browser.
Official UK government websites will have a .gov.uk at the end of their website address. When e-mailing the UKBA, you should also ensure that the e-mail address is genuine.
Sometimes these exact addresses will appear on the screen, but when you click on the address, a different e-mail address will be selected, so you should also be aware of this.
The UK government will never use free e-mail accounts such as hotmail, yahoomail, or gmail to contact you.
For further information on genuine UK Border Agency visa application fees, please see the UKBA’s “Fees for our services” page.
If you wish to check if letters or emails are genuine, please visit the UKBA’s countries list and select your country for contact details.