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Media: Ukrainian refugees fall victim to ‘sophisticated’ UK visa scams

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 25, 2023 3:32 PM 1 min read
A young boy wears a Ukrainian flag during a performance aboard the MS Victoria ship on Oct. 14, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Peter Summers/Getty Images)
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Ukrainian refugees in the U.K. often fall victim to targeted scams involving fake visas and false sponsor family promises, according to the charities cited by British media outlet The Independent.

Charities supporting Ukrainian refugees said they saw an increase in cases where scammers trick Ukrainians into paying hundreds of pounds for fake travel documents.

The Border Force can classify scam victims as illegal migrants or grant six-month visas in some cases. While charities have welcomed the Border Force issuing discretionary six-month visas to fraud victims, they say problems with housing and access to benefits remain for newcomers.

Ukrainian charity Opora said they receive two to three messages from people in these situations weekly. Another charity Settled said the case load ranges from one to five each week.

The charities urge Ukrainians to verify the offers from host families by scheduling video calls and seeking out official information about the programs.

The Home Office told The Independent that it is working continuously to identify and prevent such fraud cases, blaming it on organized crime groups.

‘When you’re running for your life you’re not thinking of visas’: British-Ukrainians hit out at UK visa scheme
As Ukrainians endure the destruction of their homes and livelihoods at the hands of Russian troops, their relatives in the U.K. are battling British bureaucracy and rallying to help from afar. One of those Ukrainians is Marina Boyko, 28, who was born in Ukraine but moved to the UK
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