Do you notice how rampant visa scam is in Nigeria? This is not so surprising. Many are desperate for visas while the industry is also highly saturated with those who take undue advantage of travelers.
So if you want to hire a visa agent for your next visa application, take time to look out for the following signs. They are the quickest ways to help detect if whom you are entrusting your money and time with is a scammer or not:
1- Fake visa agents cannot explain, in clear terms, how they would help you with your visa application
Fake visa agents have problems with explaining their methods of operations to you. The reason is because they either have none or because such methods are not beneficial to you. So many agents pose as visa agents but many of them do not know much about visa application process. Hence, they do not have any information to share.
2- Fake visa agents make unreasonable promises
If there is anything to help keep fake visa agents at bay, it is avoiding those who make unreasonable promises. Many fake visa agents think that the best way to win your heart over is by lying. They tell you that you need not meet embassy requirements for visa. And would not even tell you what they can help with. They only ask for money and tell you that visa is 100% guaranteed.
Truth be told; it is getting more and more difficult to get any visa in Nigeria today. In fact, now may not be the best time for you to apply for a visa. So if anyone tells you otherwise, be very careful. If you think it sounds too amazing or you think it sounds too easy, investigate before committing your money and time.
3- Fake visa agents do not have a timeline for your application
This is another common thing about fake visa agents. Especially the ‘registered’ or ‘traceable’ ones. It may surprise you that some fake agents are registered but these are those who take advantage of a naturally time consuming visa application process to defraud unsuspecting people.
How they do this is simple. They tell you that your application has been submitted on your behalf and the embassy is working it. You neither get any proof of application submission nor do you get any feedback from the embassy. It is easy to play this gimmick if they are helping to apply for a work permit or permanent residence.
They pass on the blame to the embassy and claim to have no idea when the embassy will reach a conclusion on your application.
4- Fake visa agents cannot account for what they charge for
Usually, a fake visa agent would not know how much their services cost. They would call you from time to time for additional fees without concrete explanation of what the money is meant for.
5- Fake visa agents do not have a physical office
The internet is a no man’s land. This is why you should make due diligence when hiring a visa agent whom you have only come across online. And why you should ask for their physical address and visit them. There are cases where some high-level fake visa agents own physical but temporary offices. But such offices would look appear weird.
So, if anything makes you uncomfortable and you don’t feel like going along with the transaction, then you should desist from doing so.
6- Fake visa agents would never be recommended to you
Recommendation is very important before engaging with a visa agent. If nobody has recommended their good works to you, look elsewhere. Even if you do not have anyone within your circle of friends and family to recommend a reliable visa agent, check out the agent’s testimonials online.
When checking out testimonials, focus on quotes from people who share their experiences and not passport booklets with visas. Since anybody can pick up an image of visa from the internet or anywhere and claim to have assisted the bearer of the passport with the visa.
A simple google search of “south africa visa” would provide you with several images of visas which may be used for fraudulent purposes.
There are many credible visa agents but it takes your own intelligence, investigations and recommendations to find them. If you notice any agent with the features mentioned above, you should avoid them – especially if such an agent was not recommended.
We would like to know your thoughts about this post. Kindly comment below and share your opinion. If you have found our blog interesting, you may subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates. Click HERE to subscribe. Thank you!