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‘Fake’ immigration website leaves citizenship applicant ‘violated and highly exposed’

March 21, 2019 no comment kartik

Selina Stanley filled all of her personal details on an online form to apply for citizenship, only to find out that it was a ‘fake’ website.

Selina Stanley holds an Irish passport and having lived as a permanent resident in Australia for many years now, she went online last week to apply for citizenship.

“I went to one of the first websites that come up on the search engine, and it seemed really authentic since they make you take a citizenship eligibility test. They even fail you if you answer a question incorrectly,” Ms Stanley tells

The website asked her to fill out the 1300t form – the one used by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“I filled out all my personal details like my drivers licence, passport details, names of my parents and siblings, all my travel dates during the last six years, the four addresses I’ve lived in, and more.”

She was charged $160 for the ‘service’, expecting to be given the option upload her documents. When that didn’t happen and realising that the only option given under ‘contact us’ wasn’t working, she knew she had been scammed.”

“I can digest losing $160, that’s no problem – but losing my personal information is very scary.”

“I feel so violated. I feel as if my personal documents aren’t mine anymore. I feel very exposed to identity theft and I feel very concerned about this.”

Ms Stanley says she called the Department of Immigration immediately to report this fake website.

“The lady who answered said, ‘yes we know’, adding it was impossible for them to keep a track of all the fake websites out there. She asked me to file my citizenship application ‘in the proper’ way”.

‘I told her that I was very concerned and uncomfortable with this approach”

Ms Stanley says, “This definitely is an issue for the Department of Immigration and the government to be concerned about. They have details of every permanent resident living in Australia, and it’s obvious that if they’re applying for citizenship, they’ve lived here for many years. Why doesn’t the government inform people of such potential fraud? If I had been informed, I would’ve been more vigilant.”

 


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