Immigrants targeted in phone scam over €500 'fines'
on 21/10/2013 00:00:00
In a statement issued on its website yesterday, INIS said: "Some of our customers have been contacted by telephone by a person purporting to be from INIS indicating that they must pay a fine of €500. They quote the INIS helpline number, which is freely available on our website and other publications, to indicate some kind of legitimacy.
"This is an attempted fraud. INIS does not and will not contact applicants by telephone in relation to payment for services. Fees for various services are published on the website and payable to INIS as part of the application process. The payment of 'fines' does not arise.
"Applicants are asked to be vigilant. Do not give details of your immigration application to telephone callers unless you are sure who they are. If someone demands payment of a fine, contact INIS and the Garda Síochána."
Yesterday a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, which oversees INIS, said the service had become aware of calls last week and reacted by posting the warning to its customers.
The department said it was not aware of anyone who had been contacted by the scammers having handed over their financial details or money.
Among the responsibilities of INIS is to process applications for citizenship. The next citizenship ceremony will take place today, when 3,800 candidates will receive their certificate of naturalisation and become Irish citizens.