In a recent incident, three U.S. nationals were left completely shocked when they got to know that the visas they are carrying are not the real ones and no visas were issued in their names.
On September 18, the U.S. nationals had arrived at the immigration counter of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). On showing their Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), they were told that no such e-travel visas (e-TVs) were issued.
Vamsi Krishna Boddu, Radhika Boddu and their son Nikhil Vamsi Boddu were cheated by a fake website www.indianevisaonline.org which had sent e-TVs to their email ids. The authorities could not locate any record of any issuance in the system. A police officer also said that their passports were also checked but no visa was issued in the names.
It was found that the victims were duped by the website which resembles the Indian government’s website and is allegedly issuing e-TVs charging a heavy amount. The victims had paid $700 each, the police added.
When the U.S. nationals were questioned, they told the police that they had received the document through email. The website also guaranteed Indian e-TVs within hours of application and payment of the said amount.
The officer added giving details of the fraud website, “The website claims to send the visa after filling the necessary application forms online after which the e-TV is received in the central Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration & Tracking (IVFRT) office and later after verification, sent to the applicant via email.”
The website also claimed that when the applicant would reach the designated airport in India, they can produce the ETA with granted status to the immigration officer and get clearance.
However, on the preliminary investigation, the website was found to be fake by the police.
The officer has also revealed that the Ministry of Home Affairs has not authorised any agency/agent/company/individual to issue e-TVs to foreign nationals.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport) Sanjay Bhatia, a case has also been registered under Section 420 (cheating) and the police are investigating the matter. Two similar complaints have also been received this year and the login ID and IP address of the website are being traced to know the culprits.