A student recently shared a WhatsApp message, unsure if it was scam. The message claims to offer an easy to route to free visas, housing, accommodation, and medicine access.
Here’s how we know it was a scam, and where it lead. It read as follows:
UK GOVERNMENT JOB RECRUITMENT 2022: This is open to all Individuals who wants to work in UK, Here is a great chance for you all to work conveniently in the UK. UK needs over 132,000 workers in 2022. Over 186,000 Jobs are Open for applying. THE PROGRAM COVERS: Travel expense. Housing. Accommodation. Medical facilities. Applicant must be 16 years or above. Can speak basic English. BENEFIT OF THE PROGRAM: Instant work permit. Visa application assistance. All nationalities can apply. Open to all individuals and students who want to work and study. Apply here [url removed]
As you might suspect, there’s multiple red flags in the above claims for anyone considering signing up.
The bogus visa claim checklist
The site gives the impression of being operated by UK Visas and Immigration, and repeats some of the errors and red flags from the WhatsApp message.
It said: We are urgently looking for foreigners to apply for the thousands of jobs already available in the United Kingdom. This application is free and upon approval you will be given a work permit, visa, plane tickets and accommodation in the UK for free.
With even the most cursory of glances, the claims on this website simply don’t add up. Let’s dissect some of them:
- UKVI applications all begin here, on a gov.uk address. This scam site is not hosted on a gov.uk address.
- The Home Office does not cover the cost of flights or accomodation for visa applicants coming to the UK.
- There is no free access to medical services in the UK. Visa holders pay an annual immigration health surcharge to access NHS services. This is paid upfront at visa application time.
- The minimum age requirement for a skilled work visa is 18, not “16 years or above”.
- In most cases, applicants need to be able to demonstrate English ability through one of several available qualifications, not just “can speak basic English”.
- You won’t get an “Instant work permit” without paying an additional fee to make use of same day / next day processing.
With thanks to the Cyber Defence Alliance and MalwareBytes. The full story is here: https://blog.malwarebytes.com/scams/2022/07/free-uk-visa-offers-on-whatsapp-are-fakes/
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