IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE looking to become Irish citizens have been warned about possible fraud attempts.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) said that some of their customers have been contacted by telephone by a person purporting to be from INIS indicating that they must pay a fine of €500.
The fraudsters quote the INIS helpline number as some kind of legitimacy. The phone number is freely available on their website.
The INIS said they do not and will not contact applicants by telephone in relation to payment for services. They said their fees are published on the website and payable to INIS as part of the application process, stating that the payment of “fines” does not arise.
They state that applicants should be vigilant and should not give details of their immigration application to telephone callers unless you are sure who they are. They add that if someone demands payment of a fine, the should contact INIS and the gardaí.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the Irish Immigrant Council (ICI) said they welcomed that this was being flagged by the INIS, stating that there are many people out there that “are out to exploit people and their families who are in vulnerable positions”.
The spokesperson said that “under no circumstances” should personal information be given out to third parties, said the ICI.
They added that there had been scams in the past with visa charges, adding that it is something that does occur, but said people should remain vigilant in relation to potential scams.