IN SHORT: A website shared across African social media promises an easy and quick road to visa sponsorship in the affluent country of Australia. But it’s a scam and could be trying to steal the personal information of opportunity seekers.
“Start your journey towards Australia. Now Companies and Employers in Australia will provide Visa Sponsorship to International applicants and they will invite them to work in Australia,” reads the link to a website circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp in a number of African countries.
“The government is also looking for National & International applicants who can fill the Shortage of jobs in Australia. Australian Public services are giving thousands of jobs,” the message adds.
The website has a banner across the top of the screen reading “AUSTRALIA SPONSORSHIP VISA AND JOB PORTAL 2022 / 2023”. It claims that as many as 195,000 jobs are up for grabs.
The website displays an “application form” which asks for personal details like name, phone number, email, address and country of origin before proceeding.
But is the website and information about Australian immigration legit? We checked.
Signs of scam
We then filled in our personal details and were directed to the next stage to validate our name.
Here we were informed that we had qualified to work and study in Australia on the sponsorship programme. But we had to share the website “with 5 groups or 15 friends on WhatsApp” by clicking on a green button.
The website then showed the message: “You will be redirected automatically to our ‘VISA FORM’ page after the GREEN verification bar is filled.”
This is a classic example of engagement bait. These are usually social media posts that ask people to interact by liking, commenting or sharing. This increases the post’s reach but ultimately offers no reward, and certainly no work visa. Such links may also attempt to steal valuable personal information.
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