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Topic: Scam outside of biometric appointment place  (Read 323 times)

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Scam outside of biometric appointment place
« on: November 26, 2020, 02:17:00 PM »
I was almost scammed out of money and perhaps worse when I went for my biometrics appointment this past Tuesday, November 25 at HM Passport Office, Globe House, 89 Eccleston Square, Pimlico, London SW1V 1PN.

Coming from Victoria station, I mistakenly walked past the place to the next corner (Gillingham St and A3213) and was just heading back, trying to follow Google Maps. I was less than a couple hundred feet away from the place.

An older man immediately came up to me and asked me where I was going, so I told him "Globe House". He immediately took me across the street, away from the Globe House (down Eccleston Square) and continued walking me away. He asked me where I was from and then he asked to look at my phone a little closer.

Suddenly,, two other men, also middle-aged,, confronted him, saying "Police!". They flipped out their identification to me, which amounted to them showing what looked to be their driver's licenses in their wallets.

They weren't uniformed police with high visibility vests; at most, they were undercover given their street clothing.

I asked, rather incredulously, "Police?" And they replied, "Yes, we're police!"

My wife, who was standing back away from us, had the good sense to pull me away and we walked another 30 seconds in the direction in which I had been pointed before we turned around and walked back. They were nowhere to be seen.

After my appointment, I reported this to the police and was told that there is a scam going on in which these fraudsters will tell people that they are in legal trouble but that they can help if they are paid some money.

All three men were obviously part of the scam, the first by taking me away from Globe House even though we were almost there, and the other two by identifying themselves as police when they weren't.

My wife remembers that before we made contact with the first man, he was standing on the corner acting like a tourist. He was holding his phone up as if he were taking pictures of the buildings around him. He then picked up our conversation as we wondered where the Globe House was.

I think their scheme is to target people around passport and visa places because we're foreigners and therefore ignorant of the law, so who better to target? By their accent, they were not native British and after I saw a real police ID, can confirm that the wallets and driver's licenses were most definitely not authentic police identification.


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Re: Scam outside of biometric appointment place
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2020, 03:02:20 PM »
I was almost scammed out of money and perhaps worse when I went for my biometrics appointment this past Tuesday, November 25 at HM Passport Office, Globe House, 89 Eccleston Square, Pimlico, London SW1V 1PN.

Coming from Victoria station, I mistakenly walked past the place to the next corner (Gillingham St and A3213) and was just heading back, trying to follow Google Maps. I was less than a couple hundred feet away from the place.

An older man immediately came up to me and asked me where I was going, so I told him "Globe House". He immediately took me across the street, away from the Globe House (down Eccleston Square) and continued walking me away. He asked me where I was from and then he asked to look at my phone a little closer.

Suddenly,, two other men, also middle-aged,, confronted him, saying "Police!". They flipped out their identification to me, which amounted to them showing what looked to be their driver's licenses in their wallets.

They weren't uniformed police with high visibility vests; at most, they were undercover given their street clothing.

I asked, rather incredulously, "Police?" And they replied, "Yes, we're police!"

My wife, who was standing back away from us, had the good sense to pull me away and we walked another 30 seconds in the direction in which I had been pointed before we turned around and walked back. They were nowhere to be seen.

After my appointment, I reported this to the police and was told that there is a scam going on in which these fraudsters will tell people that they are in legal trouble but that they can help if they are paid some money.

All three men were obviously part of the scam, the first by taking me away from Globe House even though we were almost there, and the other two by identifying themselves as police when they weren't.

My wife remembers that before we made contact with the first man, he was standing on the corner acting like a tourist. He was holding his phone up as if he were taking pictures of the buildings around him. He then picked up our conversation as we wondered where the Globe House was.

I think their scheme is to target people around passport and visa places because we're foreigners and therefore ignorant of the law, so who better to target? By their accent, they were not native British and after I saw a real police ID, can confirm that the wallets and driver's licenses were most definitely not authentic police identification.
Wow!! Glad you both are ok! Biometrics is stressful enough without that!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk



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Re: Scam outside of biometric appointment place
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2020, 03:18:37 PM »
Thankfully, the biometrics appointment was the complete opposite of this experience. Very fast, simple and no problems.

If I had to summarize the lessons learned, it would be:

1. Don't respond to strangers, especially when you're looking for a place that caters to foreigners.
2. Photograph or film the suspects. When the police asked me for a description of the men, I was appalled at how little I was able to remember. My wife was watching me and didn't think to photograph or film the guys but she did remember more details. A second pair of eyes is very helpful.
3. Get more sleep the night before. I underestimated the amount of time I needed to upload the documents to Sopra Steria, and was severely sleep-deprived.  Had I been more rested, I probably would have found the location and avoided this whole episode in the first place.


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Re: Scam outside of biometric appointment place
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020, 03:39:52 PM »
Thankfully, the biometrics appointment was the complete opposite of this experience. Very fast, simple and no problems.

If I had to summarize the lessons learned, it would be:

1. Don't respond to strangers, especially when you're looking for a place that caters to foreigners.
2. Photograph or film the suspects. When the police asked me for a description of the men, I was appalled at how little I was able to remember. My wife was watching me and didn't think to photograph or film the guys but she did remember more details. A second pair of eyes is very helpful.
3. Get more sleep the night before. I underestimated the amount of time I needed to upload the documents to Sopra Steria, and was severely sleep-deprived.  Had I been more rested, I probably would have found the location and avoided this whole episode in the first place.

In any major city, don't be distracted by any stranger as they could be pickpockets.

By their accent, they were not native British and after I saw a real police ID, can confirm that the wallets and driver's licenses were most definitely not authentic police identification.

At least in the UK, from 1 January 2021, anybody who came into the UK under EU rules (EU citizens and non-EU citizens)will be subject to the criminal laws that other immigrants to the UK are. This means no EU rules to protect criminals from being deported, including those who have been granted status in the UK under the Withdrawal Bill.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 04:32:03 PM by Sirius »


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Re: Scam outside of biometric appointment place
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2020, 04:35:21 PM »
Thanks for sharing. I'm very glad you're ok Dave.
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Scam outside of biometric appointment place
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2020, 05:59:15 PM »
Blimey! Glad you are both okay.

Thank you for sharing this.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk

Application Type : FLR(M)
Application Submitted online on: 19/08/2020
Postal or In-Person Application: Online
Biometrics Enrolled: 10/09/20 using IDV App
Acknowledgement Received: No
Additional Documents Requested on (if any): no
Decision Email: 18/12/2020
Decision Letter Received on: 18/12/2020
BRP Card Received on: Pending
Decision: APPROVED


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Re: Scam outside of biometric appointment place
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 12:17:32 PM »
In any major city, don't be distracted by any stranger as they could be pickpockets.

At least in the UK, from 1 January 2021, anybody who came into the UK under EU rules (EU citizens and non-EU citizens)will be subject to the criminal laws that other immigrants to the UK are. This means no EU rules to protect criminals from being deported, including those who have been granted status in the UK under the Withdrawal Bill.

Oh interesting; the UK have already added this, ready for 1 January 2021 changes-

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if the Home Office has decided to:

refuse your protection claim (also known as ‘asylum claim’ or ‘humanitarian protection’)
revoke your protection status
refuse your human rights claim
deport you or refuse you a residence document under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016
revoke your British citizenship

deport you, refuse or revoke your status, or vary the length or condition of your stay under the EU Settlement Scheme
refuse or revoke your travel permit or family permit under the EU Settlement Scheme

The tribunal is independent of government. A judge will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.
If you do not have the right to appeal, you might be able to ask the Home Office for an administrative review."

AND

"If you do not have the right to appeal, you might be able to ask the Home Office for an administrative review."


But as the UK ended all in-country appeals with the Immigration Act 2014 (unless they can prove their life is in danger- which won't work for EU citizens and their non-EU citizen family members because they can use Free Movement to all the EEA countries/CH, they will likley have to appeal outside the UK.

The only exception to that seems to be if their application for an appeal was made before 6 April 2015, but the Settlement Scheme under the Withdrawal Agreement started after that date. Which is reading like, criminals and those using deception in their EU Settled Scheme application, can, many many years later, be deported and/or have their British citizesnship revoked (if they used deception) or removed; just as other dishonest foreign nationals already can.

And with their BRC cancelled, they get the "hostile environment" for those illegally in the UK, brought in under the Immigration Act 2016. No working, no bill free healthcare, no renting, their UK driving licence cancelled (if the exit checks show they have not left the UK), their bank accounts closed.

https://www.gov.uk/immigration-asylum-tribunal

https://www.gov.uk/immigration-asylum-tribunal/applications-made-before-6-april-2015
« Last Edit: November 27, 2020, 12:56:59 PM by Sirius »


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