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Fraud, Tricks and Scams – Protect Yourself!

In this digital day and age, none of us are safe from fraudsters, tricksters, and scammers – not even the Home Office. It is therefore important to know how to spot a potential scam and protect yourself from releasing information to any unverified, or even criminal, individuals.

The Home Office have published new guidance to highlight the ongoing issue to help protect the public from potential scammers posing as the Home Office. To promote awareness, the guidance identifies known scams and the ways in which criminals may try to contact you.


Details of current known scams:

Websites offering jobs in the UK that do not exist

Through the websites, you can successfully apply for a job in the UK and then be asked to pay immigration visa fees to secure the role and visa. This is not the way the visa process in the UK works. Always ensure that you are applying to a genuine employer, and you follow the correct application process to obtain your relevant visa status. The Home Office will never guarantee you a job in the UK.

Impersonating Home Office officers or visa application centre staff

You may be contacted by someone pretending to be from the Home Office or a member of staff from a visa application centre They may tell you there is a serious problem with your visa application and ask you to pay further fees using different methods of payment such as MoneyGram, to prevent actions such as deportation or the cancellation of your visa.  The Home Office and visa centres will never go to your home to ask for money, and they will never contact you in person or over the phone to request money. Any top-up requests will be sent via official emails only.  Impersonators may also ask you to pay a deposit as proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK. While there is a financial requirement for some UK visa routes, the Home Office would never ask you to send money as evidence to meet this requirement. Typically, the financial requirement will require evidence of relevant bank statements only.

Fake government websites or email addresses

You may come across a website designed to look like an official UK government page but is in fact fake. It is key to note that official UK government websites will always have “ “at the end of their website address.

It is important to note that official Home Office email addresses are always in the following format: [email protected].

Emails from official Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office contacts will be in the following format: [email protected].

Always check the actual address on the email response you are sending as sometimes the email address you see on the screen of a fake website or email is in a different format to when you click on it.

So how can you protect yourself from these potential scams?

  • Always be suspicious!
  • Double check who is contacting you and if this a legitimate source. The Home Office will never ask you to respond to a Hotmail, Yahoo Mail or Gmail email account.
  • Never make payments using insecure payments methods. The Home Office will never ask for payment by email, at the visa application centre or into a personal bank account. All associated costs such as visa fees or premium services should be paid online on the official “” and commercial partner websites.
  • Do not give out personal information or confirm any personal information that have is correct, unless you are 100% sure you are being contacted by a legitimate source.
  • Tell your friends and family!

As the age old saying goes: “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

If you have any doubts about a recent incident, please do not hesitate to report your suspicions or incidents to Action Fraud, either on the website Action Fraud or if you are in the UK you can phone 0300 123 2040.

Additionally, please do get in touch with us if you are ever unsure about the type of communication you have received from the Home Office or request for evidence that does not align with general Home Office guidance or practices.  We should be able to assess and give you advice on best next steps It is always better to be safe than sorry and vigilance goes a long way!



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