Watch out for New Zealand immigration scams!
New Zealand is becoming one of the most popular immigration destinations in the world. Starting a new life in New Zealand with your partner, children and animals is a dream for many people.
Unfortunately too many people know just how popular and enticing New Zealand is and therefore New Zealand scams seem to be on the increase.
It should clearly be stated that these scams are even more reason to ensure that you only make use of a reputable and authentic New Zealand immigration adviser and agency.
Here are some the New Zealand immigration scams which you should become familiar with:
New Zealand immigration website scam
The official immigration New Zealand government’s site has become a part of a very malicious scam that targets innocent users. Although the website may appear to be exactly the same as the official INZ website, there are small variations in the domain name.
The scam operates by means of a “phishing attack”. You will receive an email appearing to be from a trusted source, and the email will contain a link to the fake website. Once you have clicked on the link you will be prompted to fill in your details.
This is all a trick in order to obtain your personal information, such as your passwords, banking details, IRD numbers and more.
The two websites look almost identical, however the link to the real website is: www.immigration.govt.nz – whereas the scam website replaces a full stop with a dash and is www.immigration-govt.nz.
New Zealand immigration scam phone calls
Although these phone calls have been targeted mainly at Indian Nationals living in New Zealand, they are also happening all over the world. The callers are very persistent and will appear genuine and convincing. They will claim to be calling from the Immigration Contact Centre number; however this is far from the case.
This is a phone spoofing scam that involves losses of thousands of dollars. Callers will pretend to be authentic Immigration New Zealand staff and will come up with all sorts of reasons asking for payment.
Unlicensed New Zealand immigration agents
By law New Zealand immigration advisers must be either licensed or exempt, in order to provide immigration assistance and advice for New Zealand. Unfortunately, in many cases, immigration agents will pretend to be fully licensed when they are in fact not.
It is also common for unlicensed immigration agents to work at authentic immigration companies and to pass themselves off as being licensed by hiding behind the company in order to fool people.
Therefore it is always important to ensure that the Immigration Company is authentic in addition to the New Zealand immigration agent. New Zealand immigration agents need to meet all the required competency standards and follow a professional code of conduct.
Not only is it against the law, but it is also against your best interests to make use of an immigration agent for New Zealand who is not fully experienced and licensed. Do not be fooled by agents who are not “the real deal”.
It is important to understand that not all immigration advisers are the same:
There are three types of licensed immigration advisor’s:
Ways to avoid New Zealand immigration scams
• Learn as much as you can.
• Do your homework and research.
• Do not try to cut corners.
• Make use of a fully licensed immigration adviser for New Zealand.
• Always check up on the credentials of the New Zealand immigration adviser.
• Consider booking an assessment with a licensed professional.
• Make use of the Official Immigration New Zealand website.
• Rather make use of professionals as opposed to trying to do it yourself.
• Do not give out money to anyone who is unlicensed.
• Go through the proper channels and procedures.
• Speak to friends and family who have successfully migrated to New Zealand.
• Make use of a reputable agency.
• Make use of a reputable immigration agent.