The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Migrants targeted in phone calling scam

20 April 2012

The Department of Internal Affairs is warning migrants to beware of a new phone-calling scam offering citizenship on the payment of documentation fees via Western Union.

The phoney caller introduces himself as being from the non-existent “Asian Minority Group of Internal Affairs in Wellington” and appears to be targeting migrants from Nepal and Bhutan.

Internal Affairs’ General Manager for Regulatory and Compliance Operations, Maarten Quivooy, said the Department received several calls today about the scam.

“The phoney caller appears to know detailed information about the families he is ringing and explains that he can provide citizenship but money needs to be paid via Western Union to Nepal for certain document transfer fees,” Maarten Quivooy said. “One person made two payments via Western Union of $984 and $485.

“We’re advising people who have called us that there is no such group in the Department and not to pay any money. They should also advise people around them about this matter and contact the Department via the phone numbers available on the DIA website if they need to clarify or confirm anything relating to NZ citizenship.

“To those who may have paid money, we have advised them to contact the Police and Western Union.”

Media contact :
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679