At Scamadviser.com, our goal is to help consumers make well-informed decisions when buying online. Another activity at the core of our service is to help consumers after they got scammed, to see if there is a way for them to get their money back. A growing type of scam is the sale of fake visas online, which can come up under many forms.
Fake visa websites
Some scammers will have their very professional looking website at the first position in Google when you look up for something such as “USA visa for Australians”, and will serve as an intermediary for something you could have done directly on the official website. If you fall for it, they will defraud you of $75 just to compensate for few clicks of their work, something that you could have done yourself. These organizations will not even make the process faster for you, as it requires the same amount of documents, in fact, they will even slow it down (by adding an extra layer).
E-visa websites that will rip you off
If you Google “India visa for Australians”, you will find as first position a website which seems legit and official, but which in fact is not the original authority for ordering Indian e-visa online. Once again, by applying to this website for your e-visa, you will pay $100 extra that you would have if you placed your request on the official Indian website.
Case study: Scammers used the UK Embassy Facebook page to scam
Several members of the public fell victim to scammers using the Embassy Facebook page to extract money from them, in exchange for visa services. These people were asked to provide all the personal information required to the creation of a visa (including a photograph), along with a request of $3,000 to be paid through Western Union.
How to avoid being scammed when requesting a visa?
- Make sure that the email address of the person you are in contact with includes the official suffix corresponding to the institution. I.e. the email address has to end in .gov for the US government, etc.
- You will never be asked to pay the visa application fee by check, money order or Western Union. The visa application fee is paid at the time you schedule the appointment for the visa interview.
- As a visa applicant, you will not be issued a US passport, but if you are found qualified you will be issued a US visa.
- Refer to our list of official visa websites by country:
For other countries, please visit this website.
If you want to report a visa fraud, you can do it on Scamadviser.com and on the country’s relevant authority.