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Indians in UK receiving fraud calls for money

More than 10 affected Indian citizens have approached the Indian high commission in London, saying callers were demanding money to deal with non-existent errors in their passports or visa papers.

world Updated: Mar 25, 2017 19:58 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Callers falsely claimed they had information about the Indian nationals from the high commission or other authorities in India or the British high commission in New Delhi
Callers falsely claimed they had information about the Indian nationals from the high commission or other authorities in India or the British high commission in New Delhi(Reuters/ representational image only)

Several Indian citizens in Britain have received calls from people purporting to be from the Home Office, demanding money to deal with non-existent errors in their passports or visa papers, prompting an advisory from external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

After receiving tweets from affected Indians in several countries, Swaraj asked them not to worry and to report the calls to the nearest Indian mission. The Indian high commission in London too issued an advisory, asking those affected not to pay money to the callers.

More than 10 affected Indian citizens have approached the high commission, and officials said they were aware of at least 25 such cases . These cases emerged recently, but similar calls were received in previous years. 

The Indian mission’s advisory states: “A number of incidents have come to the attention of the High Commission involving fraudsters having telephonically cheated some Indian nationals by posing as officers from UK Home Office/ UK immigration/ UKBA.

“These fraudsters extort money from Indian nationals, claiming that mistakes were noticed in their passports, visa forms, immigration forms etc and that they should deposit money (as demanded by these fraudsters) to have these mistakes rectified or else they will be deported or imprisoned in UK.”

The advisory noted that in some cases, the callers falsely claimed they had information about the Indian nationals from the high commission or other authorities in India or the British high commission in New Delhi.

“This is to clarify that the High Commission does not send any such notifications to UK authorities. If there is any issue, the High Commission contacts the concerned Indian national, directly using the official email ID of the High Commission ending with @hcilondon.in,” it said.

“Indian nationals are advised not to entertain suspicious telephone calls and they should never part with their money in response to such calls. Indian nationals are further advised to immediately notify the local police and also report the matter online to Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) or by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”

The advisory said Indians could also bring such calls to the notice of “their university (in case of students), their employers/sponsors(in case of work permit holders)” and to the high commission at the email ID info.london@hcilondon.in.