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possible VISA scam

yorkshire
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possible VISA scam

last week a friend applied for their visas by downloading visa form and filling in by hand then looking at the vfs website for the visa fee and sent them to vfs with the correct visa fee of £78.10 in postal orders for two visas (wednesday). On friday they received a phone call saying they had sent the wrong visa fee and it should be £66 per visa. my friend explained that she had got the visa price from the vfs gloobal web site but the woman on the other end of the phone said it was an old website and told her the new one was

indiavisaheadoffice.co.uk and she could send the extra payment and the visas would be processed and returned.

could there possibly be inside information passing from vfs to what seems to be an agent to extract yet more cash out of the tourists.BEWARE if you dont pay for your vsa online!!!!!

London
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1. Re: possible VISA scam

It is bit worrying honeybee because I have heard of this agency 3 or 4 times recently by posts on here or word of mouth. Did your friend download visa form from VFS or india visa company. As regular travellers to India and regular contributors to this site we are all aware of correct pricing. Its a bit worrying for first time travellers to India who may be caught up in what they think is the official Indian visa website.

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United Kingdom
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for Goa
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2. Re: possible VISA scam

This is worrying. Like wanderin_star said, anyone who is new to India and doesn't check websites like this, will be caught!

I've just looked at the form and it does look very similar to the VFS one, but the most obvious difference is that on the VFS downloaded form, the form actually has the VFS website address on it and the other form does not. There is a difference at the bottom of the form too: See below (old form) and the date of the form being Feb 08:

indiavisaheadoffice.co.uk/indian-visa-forms/…

and the proper form downloaded from the VFS website:

in.vfsglobal.co.uk/pdf/general_visa.pdf

Quick edit - when posted, the first link doesn't give the date but it did in preview and it said 19thFeb08.pdf

Edited: 17 October 2010, 01:53
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United Kingdom
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for Goa
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3. Re: possible VISA scam

And obviously on the non-VFS form, the address to send isn't correct.

This does appear to be an agency charging twice the price of VFS! I do hope people don't get caught out by this!

Edited: 17 October 2010, 02:03
yorkshire
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4. Re: possible VISA scam

just to point out , untill the phone call everything had been done on the VFS website.it wouldn't be a shock to me if this agency haven't even seen their passports but are trying to make a few quid for doing absolutely nothing except for telling lies .

yorkshire
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5. Re: possible VISA scam

I smell a rat as before the phone call the only contact was with the vfs website.

Edited: 17 October 2010, 02:24
LIVERPOOL
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6. Re: possible VISA scam

redlam90 mentioned this earlier today on the "Price of Visa" post by lizapizza. Worrying thing is that Goa/India virgins could easily be suckered into paying this.

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Goa
Goa
India
Derbyshire
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7. Re: possible VISA scam

Honeybee

Could your friend somehow have sent her application to this address instead of to the 'proper' Hayes one:

India Visa Head Office

36 VICTORIA AVENUE,

GRAYS, ESSEX,

RM16 2RP

If she did, that would expalin how this agency got hold of her phone number, but if she sent her application to Hayes, then yes it does sound very suspicious that this company somehow got hold of your friend's phone number without seeing her application and rang asking for additional payment.

That's very serious and something that I WOULD complain to the HCI about, if I had proof of what had happened.

So, what did your friend do about the request for more money?

Has she had her passport/visa back yet?

It also sounds very bad that the woman told your friend that the VFS Global website was an old one and gave THEIR website as the new one.

If you google 'Indian Visa' this agency is the top hit - as MeerKat says, very confusing for people who are applying for the first time.

It's all well and good CHOOSING to use an agency and knowingly paying extra for the service but I can't see where this company make it obvious that they are an agency.

The 2nd & 3rd hits are both very clear that they are agencies, with one even breaking down the costs into 'Embassy Fees' and 'Handling Fees'.

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Lowestoft, United...
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for Varkala
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8. Re: possible VISA scam

The only logical explanation is that the form was downloaded from indiavisaheadoffice.co.uk and then sent to the address as stated on that form.

There have always been other agencies that can provide a visa service for India. The mentioned agency is one of them.

People who use TA and other India forum sites will know the procedure for obtaining visas and will know of VFS. Others are left to the mercy of web searches.

Edited: 17 October 2010, 14:51
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Derbyshire
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9. Re: possible VISA scam

Igirl

I agree that does sound logical but honeybee does say that her friend sent the application to VFS and that everything had been done via the VFS website.

Redditch, United...
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10. Re: possible VISA scam

Is there a link on the VFS website to this 'agent' ?