13 Feb 2024

Scammers pose as agents to trick potential migrants - Immigration NZ

7:24 am on 13 February 2024
one hundred new zealand cash money bank note on table with red cover passport book

Photo: 123RF

Immigration New Zealand is warning potential migrants to watch out for scam job offers and visas that seem too good to be true.

The agency says scams on social media and apps like WhatsApp are becoming more commonplace.

General manager of immigration compliance and investigation Steve Watson said unscrupulous people were targeting migrants wanting to come to New Zealand.

Tactics being used included charging an excessive amount of money for a job or promising something that was not within the conditions of a visa.

"All of the information and the one source of truth is on the Immigration NZ website."

He added: "The message I really want to get out to people overseas is that if an employer offers you something that is too good to be true or the circumstances of the visa are such if it's, for example, a work visa and they're promising you something outside the terms of that visa people should be very very careful and they should check that it's not too good to be true."

The agency's warnings were being directed at those considering coming to New Zealand who were dealing with agents.

All agents must be licensed, he said.

"Sometimes, these agents - or they're not agents, they're scammers - seek to make money by preying on vulnerable people overseas."

Immigration NZ was trying to spread the message with information campaigns on social media, issuing warnings via its website, and through people it employs offshore who work with immigration providers.

If anyone believed they had been the victim of a scam they should contact Immigration NZ via its website or call centre.

As for accredited employers in this country who were being accused of exploiting migrants, there were a number of investigations taking place.

If the employers had breached their conditions they would be held to account, Watson said.

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