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Be Informed About Migration Fraud
Old 30th September 2010, 09:09 PM   #1
Migration Help
 
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Default Be Informed About Migration Fraud

Be Informed About Migration Fraud
People may give you false or misleading information in order to take advantage of your desire to visit or migrate to Australia. Becoming a victim of fraudulent activity could mean your:
  • dreams of coming to Australia are shattered
  • visa is cancelled and you are sent home
  • identity is stolen
  • life savings are lost
  • computer is corrupted with viruses.
Fraudulent activity is designed to trick you out of your money or personal details. Read the stories of people who became victims of fraud, so the same thing does not happen to you.

See: Victim Stories

Anyone can become the victim of fraud—watch the department's video 'Don't Get Caught Out' to see how easily it can happen. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

See: Don't Get Caught Out

Help fight against illegal operators posing as migration professionals

Migration agents who operate in Australia must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). If they operate without being registered they are breaking the law and a penalty of up to 10 years jail can apply. If you know someone who is providing migration advice and is not a registered migration agent, you should report them in writing using the department's Feedback form.


SOURCE


Included in this article from the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship are a number of myths or misleading statements commonly used by illegal immigration 'professionals'. Migration Help strongly encourages all applicants to read the article in its entirety and to contact DIAC with information on any person illegally providing immigration advice.



MH

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Old 11th March 2012, 08:01 AM   #2
rayvin
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Migration Help View Post
Be Informed About Migration Fraud
People may give you false or misleading information in order to take advantage of your desire to visit or migrate to Australia. Becoming a victim of fraudulent activity could mean your:
  • dreams of coming to Australia are shattered
  • visa is cancelled and you are sent home
  • identity is stolen
  • life savings are lost
  • computer is corrupted with viruses.
Fraudulent activity is designed to trick you out of your money or personal details. Read the stories of people who became victims of fraud, so the same thing does not happen to you.

See: Victim Stories

Anyone can become the victim of fraud—watch the department's video 'Don't Get Caught Out' to see how easily it can happen. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

See: Don't Get Caught Out

Help fight against illegal operators posing as migration professionals

Migration agents who operate in Australia must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). If they operate without being registered they are breaking the law and a penalty of up to 10 years jail can apply. If you know someone who is providing migration advice and is not a registered migration agent, you should report them in writing using the department's Feedback form.


SOURCE


Included in this article from the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship are a number of myths or misleading statements commonly used by illegal immigration 'professionals'. Migration Help strongly encourages all applicants to read the article in its entirety and to contact DIAC with information on any person illegally providing immigration advice.



MH

Thanks for this write-up. Migration fraud is REAL and I am a recent victim. To those on this forum who are from Malaysia, please be wary of 'migration agents / consultants'.

They have a professional looking setup and even go on road shows giving talks and promoting their company. They will provide you with a free 'professional assessment' of your qualifications to migrate, and tell you that you are highly qualified for a job category when you're actually not. I fell for it and got stiffed 10k Malaysian Ringgit. The terms and conditions of their written agreement are pretty much unassailable, so you can forget about getting a refund.

Rayvin
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Old 12th March 2012, 02:11 AM   #3
Robert K Chelliah
 
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Hi Rayvin,

I am sorry you feel you have been short changed. I am also MARA Registered Agent with an office in Malaysia and I too hold many seminars and road shows. Your allegation without specifics is unfair to all the other Registered Agents in Malaysia, bearing in mind there is always two sides to a coin. Your grouse without specifics in a public forum such as this would be seen as wild and irrational unless you are prepared to detail the grounds of your allegations. Your allegations castes doubts and aspiration on other agents like me who has an impeccable reputation and sucess rate, particularly in Malaysia. If you have used a MARA registered agent you certinly have recourse to complain to MARA and seek redress. MARA, the regulatory body that registers agents, is best placed to assess if you, as the client, has been short changed. The agent will pay dearly if he/she has been unethical and not candid with the assesment of your application.

I am willing to assist and advise you how to lodge your complaint to MARA and it will not cost you cent to seek relief from MARA. You also have the option take civil litigation , with cost recovery, under ocal legal jurisdictions.

I am not sure if you have spoken to me over the phone early in the process or through your earlier participation in this forum and opted not to use my services due to my fees. It does not pay to use cheap local brokers who call themselves as Migration Agents.

RM 10K is too low for a Migration Professional Service. Cheap may not get the result most times.
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Email : rkc@austmigration.com.sg
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Old 12th March 2012, 01:36 PM   #4
Richard Quirin
 
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Hi Robert,
I fully agree with you. Not fair to those of you that practice in that geographical location that do a professional job with integrity and honesty. Sadly this kind of thing happens all too often and the veil of suspicion and unsubstantiated allegation tars us all as RMAs.
regards,

Richard
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Old 12th March 2012, 02:20 PM   #5
Robert K Chelliah
 
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Hi Richard

Unless Ravin comes back with specifics we can only guess he may have used a local taxi driver pretending to be an agent and Ravin got sucked into the scam foolishly to save a few dollars.

Cheers
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Email : rkc@austmigration.com.sg
www.austmigration.com.au
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Old 15th March 2012, 10:58 AM   #6
Amin Rahman
 
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Just a quick note on this topic.

Recently, I have been getting a lot of emails/calls from Bangladesh asking me to arrange an RSMS visa for them. They informed me that agents stationed in Bangladesh are promising them this visa, which they can arrange on upfront payment of about A$2000, according to one. The agents tell them that RSMS has less stringent requirements, including English, than GSM visas.

What I am suspecting is that some of these agents (I do not know whether they are registered or not) have leagued up with some people in Australia. The latter may have registered companies in regional Australia, and are prepared to sponsor these unsuspecting and gullible people through their agents/partners in Bangladesh, in exchange for money.

I have told all of them that I could not help them as I did not know any company in regional Australia who would be interested in their skill set to hire them and who also met the RSMS sponsorship requirements.

Any comments on this phenomenon?

Regards.

Amin
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Old 15th March 2012, 11:26 AM   #7
Amin Rahman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayvin View Post
Thanks for this write-up. Migration fraud is REAL and I am a recent victim. To those on this forum who are from Malaysia, please be wary of 'migration agents / consultants'.

They have a professional looking setup and even go on road shows giving talks and promoting their company. They will provide you with a free 'professional assessment' of your qualifications to migrate, and tell you that you are highly qualified for a job category when you're actually not. I fell for it and got stiffed 10k Malaysian Ringgit. The terms and conditions of their written agreement are pretty much unassailable, so you can forget about getting a refund.

Rayvin
I do not meet any of the above mentioned criteria. That is why I am not getting a lot of clients.

For example, I do not have a posh office with secretaries etc. I see people in my mini two bedroom apartment and use the dining area beside the open kitchenette to see my clients.

I do not promote my company as such and tell attendees at my seminar at Dhaka University,that I am there to provide them with genuine information about migration to Australia. I do not solicit any client and tell them that I am neither a miracle man nor a magician and can help only those who, according to me, meet the eligibility criteria.

In the seminar I guide them to self assess themselves. I also tell them that if they have time and can go through all the available guides available on different websites, they should try to apply on their own and save their or their parents' hard earned money.

If anybody still wants to consult me in my kitchen cum dining room, I charge them even for the first meeting. Some do ask why I charge while others do not. I tell them the reason and suggest that they should go to others if they think that they do not agree or do not find the consultation worth the amount they will be paying. Those who decide to consult me, for many, it is a confirmation that they are not yet eligible. But I do tell them how to become eligible in future, if they are still interested. Some have taken my advice and many have not. Those few who took my advice are either in Australia or will be in the near future.

Just a final note, Last year I got one client whom I took from the beginning till the end of his GSM visa application. The rest just consult(ed) me on an hourly basis. They either wanted to find out about their eligibility for migration or needed help or review of one or more of their documents for skills assessment or visa application, which they were lodging on their own.

Most people, I am afraid, like Rayvin, would rather give their money to someone who promises them something than take advice from an old worthless agent like me.

Not a happy story. But that is the fact.

Regards
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Old 15th March 2012, 06:05 PM   #8
Robert K Chelliah
 
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There are lots of scams run by non registered agents as they have no MARA to hold them accountable.
DIAC does not give any preference to registered agents and in fact at overseases posts the staff treat both lots with equal level of recognition. MIA does not care too hoots about thisbunrefgistered agents (may be good for those agents who are going to set up their offices offshore to avoid all the Australian rules to practice).

In 2015 I too am retiring in Singapore and intend to practice without being a registered agent as I have quite a good reputaion among the locals after 20 years presence in this country.

It is a matter of time when agents would be asked to spend a few more thousand dollars to get some kind of legal qualification, set up and manage clients trust account, prevented from operating from kitchen table, and yet from overseases you can operate fron the local taxi stand out of MARA's reach.

Cheers
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Old 18th March 2012, 04:00 PM   #9
rayvin
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert K Chelliah View Post
Hi Rayvin,

I am sorry you feel you have been short changed. I am also MARA Registered Agent with an office in Malaysia and I too hold many seminars and road shows. Your allegation without specifics is unfair to all the other Registered Agents in Malaysia, bearing in mind there is always two sides to a coin. Your grouse without specifics in a public forum such as this would be seen as wild and irrational unless you are prepared to detail the grounds of your allegations. Your allegations castes doubts and aspiration on other agents like me who has an impeccable reputation and sucess rate, particularly in Malaysia. If you have used a MARA registered agent you certinly have recourse to complain to MARA and seek redress. MARA, the regulatory body that registers agents, is best placed to assess if you, as the client, has been short changed. The agent will pay dearly if he/she has been unethical and not candid with the assesment of your application.

I am willing to assist and advise you how to lodge your complaint to MARA and it will not cost you cent to seek relief from MARA. You also have the option take civil litigation , with cost recovery, under ocal legal jurisdictions.

I am not sure if you have spoken to me over the phone early in the process or through your earlier participation in this forum and opted not to use my services due to my fees. It does not pay to use cheap local brokers who call themselves as Migration Agents.

RM 10K is too low for a Migration Professional Service. Cheap may not get the result most times.
Hi Robert,
Sorry if my post was not specific enough and rubbed agents like you the wrong way. The agency I used is a registered agent with MARA and the 10k Malaysian Ringgit is just the initial fee paid out of the 30k total. The 'consultant' who works for this agent assessed that my wife (the main applicant) is highly qualified as a bank manager and most definitely will obtain a 5 year General Skill PR.

We are filing a complaint with the Tribunal and to MARA if anyone here can advice how.
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Old 18th March 2012, 08:18 PM   #10
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HiRayvin

Rm 30K is a bit too high for a GSM 175 or 176 unless there are some complexities involved. In Malaysia a few MARA registered agents have leave it to their local staff to analyse, strategise, and provide advise to potentioal clients. Most often the MARA agents do not meet the clients and I have come across some seriously flawed diagnosis and strategy of applications that failed. The engagement contract has got to be between the MARA agent and you otherwise you will be on a weak ground.

Nevertheless, visit the website : www.themara.com.au. and you will have all the contact numbers and the complaint form that can be downloaded. Even if you do not wish to use the form a complaint in the form of a letter would be sufficient for MARA to intervene.

In the first instance, if your objective is to get back your fees, I suggest you re contact the MARA agent and attempt to enter into an arbitration, with the undertanding that if the arbiteration fails you have the option to go to MARA. MARA will not assist you to get back your fees, even though MARA too may advise the Agent to resolve the conflict by arbitration, which with the objective of refund. In any case if MARA investigates and finds the agent has breached the Code Of Conduct, MARA will take punitive action againt the agent.

All MARA registered agents are covered by professional indeminity insurance and sometimes it pays the Agent to admit omission or professional error on his part and leave it to the Insurance company to settle any refund.

On a more complex process of loss of life opportunity due to agents neglect or incompetency you can litigate for loss of life chances through a solicitor and claim for larger sum of money for greater loss of your life plan.

All this depends on how the MARA refgistered agent has handled your case, even if it had been done by the Agent's proxy.

Please keep us posted of the outcome, with reference to right of privacy clause both for you and the MARA registered agent, as this is a public forum.

Best wishes
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Robert K Chelliah
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Email : rkc@austmigration.com.sg
www.austmigration.com.au
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