We have been made aware that Permanent Residence Permit applicants have been receiving scam calls by people pretending to be from the Department of Home Affairs.
In some cases, reported by clients, the scammers had access to information about documents submitted, leading the victims to believe that the call was genuine. These scammers exploit the anxiety associated with the PRP application process, claiming that the application is delayed and demanding additional forms to be filled out. Subsequently, they might attempt to extract additional fees from the victims, falsely claiming that it would expedite their application.
How to Avoid This
- Verify the Caller’s Identity: Always insist that the caller identifies themselves by providing their full name and official position at the Department of Home Affairs. This can serve as an initial red flag if the caller is hesitant or evasive.
- Consult Your Immigration Consultant: Do not make any additional payments without first consulting your immigration consultant. Genuine communication from the DHA regarding your application would typically come through official channels and would not involve direct payment requests over the phone.
- Guard Your Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing any personal information, such as identification numbers, passport details, or sensitive financial data, over the phone or via email.
- Test the Caller’s Knowledge: In case of any doubts about the authenticity of the call, ask the caller to confirm information they should have on hand, such as your telephone number, email address, or other application-related details. Scammers often lack such specific information.
Sometimes, the DHA does have a legitimate reason for phoning you, and we do not want clients to entirely shut off communication with the DHA. Rather than not answering any calls in response to this scam, follow our steps above, and if ever confused or unsure as to what to do, or if it is indeed the DHA phoning you, be sure to contact your immigration consultant at once.
Written by Simon Carletti, PR and Creative Supervisor