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HomeNewsUkrainian refugees falling victim to ‘extremely sophisticated’ UK visa scam, charities warn

Ukrainian refugees falling victim to ‘extremely sophisticated’ UK visa scam, charities warn

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Charities have warned that Ukrainian refugees are falling victim to an “extremely sophisticated” UK visa scam. The scammers are taking advantage of the refugees’ desperation to leave Ukraine by tricking them into paying hundreds of pounds for letters giving them “permission to travel” to the UK and fake British visas. The visas are impossible to identify as fraudulent by sight, meaning Ukrainians are permitted to travel by airline staff, only to be told by Border Force that their documents are not valid.

The Scam

According to The Independent, the scammers are targeting Ukrainian refugees who are desperate to leave Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict in the country. The scammers are offering the refugees fake visas and false promises of a home in the UK. The refugees are tricked into paying hundreds of pounds for letters giving them “permission to travel” to the UK and fake British visas. The visas are impossible to identify as fraudulent by sight, meaning Ukrainians are permitted to travel by airline staff, only to be told by Border Force that their documents are not valid.

The Impact

The impact of this scam is devastating for the refugees who fall victim to it. They are left stranded in the UK without a home or any means of support. According to Settled, a charity that helps refugees settle in the UK, some Ukrainian fraud victims are still being left without access to housing and benefits – because they have no valid visa.

The Response

The Home Office has said that it is working continuously to identify and prevent this fraud, which it blamed on organised crime groups. However, the charities warn that the scammers are extremely sophisticated and are constantly changing their tactics to avoid detection.The charities are urging Ukrainian refugees to be cautious and to seek advice before paying any money for visas or travel documents. They are also advising refugees to speak to their prospective hosts to get to know them and, ideally, to video call at least once.

Conclusion

The Ukrainian refugees falling victim to the UK visa scam is a tragic situation. The scammers are taking advantage of vulnerable people who are desperate to leave a conflict zone. The impact of this scam is devastating for the refugees who fall victim to it. They are left stranded in the UK without a home or any means of support. The charities are urging Ukrainian refugees to be cautious and to seek advice before paying any money for visas or travel documents. They are also advising refugees to speak to their prospective hosts to get to know them and, ideally, to video call at least once. The Home Office has said that it is working continuously to identify and prevent this fraud, which it blamed on organised crime groups. However, the charities warn that the scammers are extremely sophisticated and are constantly changing their tactics to avoid detection.

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