Fraudsters are purporting to be from the Home Office and cold-calling victims to claim that there is a problem with their immigration status. Victims are informed that in order to rectify this issue, they must pay an up-front fee and are often asked to confirm personal details such as their passport number and date of arrival in the United Kingdom.
Victims are asked to pay the fees through a variety of methods, including money transfers via a Money Service Bureau and by purchasing iTunes vouchers before relaying the voucher code to the suspect. The fraudster usually attempts to keep the victim on the phone until the payment is received, which can be hours at a time.
How to protect yourself:
- The Home Office, Police or any UK Law Enforcement Agency will never ask for money over the telephone.
- Government agencies do not use non-secure payment methods such as a transfer via a Money service Bureau, iTunes voucher(s) or cryptocurrency e.g. Bitcoin.
- When receiving unsolicited calls, be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always ensure you know who you talking to. Ask for the details of the organisation the caller represents and call them back yourself on the officially published numbers rather than the numbers the caller may try to provide you with.
- If you have any concerns regarding your immigration status, please visit the following government website to speak with someone regarding your specific immigration issue: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to us on 101 and to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk , or by calling 0300 123 2040.
For more details about this fraud and all the latest fraud alerts and advice visit https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/article/8201/Latest-Fraud-Alerts
If you need to reply regarding this message, click on this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Engagement Officer