The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau's (NFIB) proactive intelligence team are warning that victims are being contacted electronically by fraudsters claiming to be from the Home Office offering them a National ID Card for Commonwealth Citizenship.
Fraudsters are selling the “British Commonwealth National cards” to victims for around £150 - £300. The Home Office have said that no such scheme exists and the card “does not prevent an illegal migrant from being removed from the UK”.
If you receive an unexpected email, telephone call or letter from someone who claims to be from the Home Office, it may be a scam. They will never contact you to ask for money or your personal details.
You should always get your information from official websites. The Official UK government website always has ‘.gov.uk’ at the end of their website address and can be found here.
Other Home Office scams to be aware of:
- Websites that offer jobs in the UK that do not exist. If you apply for one, they tell you that you have the job and ask you to pay visa and work permit fees.
- A person who pretends to be a Home Office officer and goes to someone’s home to ask for money to process a partner’s visa. The Home Office will never visit you at home to collect money.
- People who target applicants for UK work visas. They ask you to pay a deposit as proof that you have enough funds to support you in the UK until you receive your first salary.
- Calls from people who claim they work for the Home Office and tell you there is a serious problem with your visa.
- Agents who tell you they can get you a visa using forged documents. The Home Office can easily spot a fake and they will refuse your application if you use them.
- Agents who say they can speed up the process of getting a visa. They cannot.
- People outside the UK who pretend to be visa officers and offer to meet you somewhere. Legitimate visa officers will only meet you at their offices and will never contact you to ask for money
- Fake websites designed to look like official ones for the UK government or its official visa enquiry services. The fake website may look slightly different with an alternative layout or misspelt words. Always get your visa information from here.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or targeted for fraud, you should contact Action Fraud by phoning 0300 123 2040 (only if you are in the UK) or by using the online reporting tool.