How can I protect myself from dishonest migration agents?
January 25, 2023
Somebody pretending to be a migration agent might give you false or misleading information to take advantage of your desire to travel to Australia. If you become a victim of fraud, you could lose your life savings, have your identity stolen, or your visa (if granted) cancelled.
There are a number of warning signs you should look out for:
- They do not advertise a Migration Agents Registration Number (MARN). You can find the number and check their registration by using the search page at the Authority’s website.
- They ask you to pay up front in cash and provide no receipt.
- The fee seems extremely high (the Authority lists average charges by registered agents on its website).
- They do not give you a contract or statement of services and fees.
- They ask to meet in a public place rather than at their office address.
- They supply only a post office box or mobile phone number.
- They claim that: – they can ‘guarantee’ you a visa- this is a once in a lifetime opportunity or your only chance to get a visa- they have a ‘special’ relationship with us- they need to keep the original of your passport, birth certificate or marriage certificate.