$500,000 Visa Fraud:
Yet again, Precise Investigation has come to hear that Australia has once more fallen victim to internalised economic crime. In light of our three previous articles on the subject, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Australia, as a nation, and regardless of the number of warnings issued by leading Newspapers, Journals and Blogs available, is not overly concerned about the effects of scams and fraud.
In an article released by Smartcompany.com.au, we see that over 10,000 people in Australia have been hit by a new scam, where fraudsters send emails to small businesses, demanding payments for overdue AGL energy bills. Once opened, those emails go on to infect the computer with randsomware, where victims are then forced to pay in excess of $800 to unlock their machines.
An online security expert, Michael McKinnon went on to explain that the best defence is “human defence.” Now, while that might be the case in other countries around the world, where people have come to appreciate and understand how these kinds of scams work, Mr McKinnon’s “advice” is a prime example as to why so many people continue to fall victim to these kinds of issues.
What good is “human defence” if the person behind the computer doesn’t want to understand that the email they’re about to open looks suspicious? There are literally thousands of online resources that, after spending just an hour or two reading, would help people to better understand the associated risks and how best to avoid them – even we have even written numerous articles on the subject.
If you want to avoid being scammed, look more carefully at the emails you’re being sent, the times they come through, the quality of the English in the subject and message content, the email address of the sender (especially in relation to the name of the person sending the email) and look at the attachments (but DO NOT click on them).
If you’ve been sent something that you think is suspicious, it’s wouldn’t even be all that bad to simply reply to the sender saying something along the lines of, “Hi there, I’ve just received an email from you but my computer is warning me not to open the attachment as it contains a virus – would you be able to send another version of the file, or run a virus scan on your end before sending through another email? Sorry for the inconvenience but your understanding is appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you.”
If the sender is legitimate, of course they will respond appropriately.
Now, back to this Visa scam issue.
Perfectly in line with Australia’s title as The World’s Most Economic Crime Affected Country, we now hear and see that a Filipino man by the name of Alex Escala Allan, employed by Australia’s Immigration Office, accepted bribes amounting to over $550,000 to provide immigrants to the country with visas, despite them not meeting Australia’s strict entry requirements. As such, Mr. Allan illegitimately provided 59 people with visas that they would otherwise have been unable to obtain.
Allowing potentially dangerous or malicious people into Australia, while fixing their records and ultimately taking huge payments for the service, are all major economic crimes – crimes that Mr. Allan should have paid dearly for. However, due to the fact that he was able to assist the Justice department and Australian Federal Police in other related matters, he was sentenced to a mere 8 months in prison.
What message does this send to other criminals who land on Australia’s shores in the hope of living out their criminal lives here? Most certainly and, at best, a very weak one.
Thankfully an appeal was made where Crown Prosecutor, Glenn Rice admitted that Mr. Allan’s previous sentence was “manifestly inadequate.”
With all of this information at hand, and the countless Google Alerts regarding Australian fraud, scams, corruption and malpractice that we receive every day, it’s fair to say that Australia still has a very loose grip of the sword of justice; swinging it wildly at the unarmed and seemingly throwing it aside when outsmarted by the likes of international and even internalized fraudsters.
Again, and in light of our previous articles on the same subject, we would like to reiterate that there has never been a more crucial time to enlist the help of trusted, reputable and reliable private investigators. Precise Investigation, along with a multitude of other investigation firms offer businesses, government organisations and Australian individuals a means to protect themselves against and reduce the associated risks of fraud – regardless of its scale.
It is our job to provide people with effective and long-lasting preventative measures, as opposed to the “reactive” approach that Australia continues to inadequately employ.
Precise Investigation and our team of trained, qualified and dually experienced investigators are available to assist Australian businesses, individuals and government organisations around the country, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. With offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, our operatives have quick and easy access to every major state and even the more remote areas of the country.
We’ve been at the forefront of Australia’s private investigation industry for close to three decades, and we’ve helped countless organisations to successfully defend themselves against the likes of fraud, misconduct, malpractice and a wide range of likened corporate concerns. Get in touch with us today and see what we can do for you.