TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Duping Migrant Workers via the Internet

Duping Migrant Workers via the Internet

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:36:31 -0600

Would-be migrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America are being
tricked into paying up to $1,000 for promises of travel to a rich
country by Web sites claiming links to the United Nations, a
spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Fraudsters and phishers infiltrated chat rooms, special interest
groups and even dating sites to entice men and women by claiming to
belong to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or
other organizations, UNHCR spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis told

"Unsuspecting victims are encouraged to apply to these sham
resettlement programs by paying an administrative fee which ranges
from $100 up to $1,000," she said.

The UNHCR never charges for assistance to refugees requiring
international protection and people should understand that all such
offers of help were false, Pagonis said.

The scams first come to light at the beginning of the year and the
Geneva-based UNHCR was working with governments to try to close down
any fraudulent Internet sites detected, she said.

She had no information on how many sites had been closed or on how
much money might have been lost so far.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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