Australia Alleged visa scam cost victims $800,000
Romance fraud on rise in coronavirus lockdown
Authorities warn about the scams criminals employ ahead of Valentine's Day.According to UK Finance, there was a 20% increase in bank transfer fraud linked to romance scams in 2020 compared to 2019.
An alleged migration visa scam that cost victims almost $800,000 has resulted in a 52-year old Queensland man being charged with more than 20 fraud offences.
As the director of two companies, it will be alleged he targeted migrant visa holders and offered to find them sponsored jobs as a pathway to permanent residency.
A total of 23 victims have made complaints and police believe the man charged fees of between $25,000 and $45,000 each for services he did not deliver.
Investigations suggest the jobs did not exist as advertised, if at all, and Detective Acting Inspector Adam Bennett said it will be alleged the man falsified documents and operated from a 'professional city office' in an attempt to appear legitimate.
"When it comes to financial and legal matters, it is important to take a step back and seek independent advice, with information on migration and registered migration agents available on the Australian Border Force website," he said.
The man was arrested February 17 in Sydney after Queensland Police, with assistance from NSW Police, executed a search warrant.
Electronic devices and documentation were seized during the search.
He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday afternoon.
Dating-app con artists are scamming singles up to $900,000 with elaborate fake relationships .
Romance-related internet scammers had their most lucrative year in 2020, according to an FTC report. Scammers use dating and community-oriented apps to build fake relationships with unsuspecting singles. After months or years gaining trust, the scammers will use their unknowing victims to launder money. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Scammers are taking advantage of lovelorn dating-app users during the pandemic, keeping up fake virtual romances for months in order to ask unsuspecting victims for money.