As per a representative from the visa application organization VFS, fraudsters professing to be workers from VFS Global are selling fake Schengen visa appointments in the United Arab Emirates.
The spokesperson told Arabian Business that this year, there has been noted a surge in the number of fraudsters offering to sell fake appointments, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“There has been an increase in fraudsters this year who are taking advantage of people by selling appointments. We have seen some people come into the center with appointment confirmations which are fake and were unfortunately scammed by these fraudsters,” VFS Global’s Deputy Head of the UAE, Monaz Billimoria, noted.
The report said, the increment comes after repressed post-Covid travel request has made critical moves for occupants of UAE countries to get a Schengen visa appointment during the pinnacle season in summer, consequently driving countless individuals to reschedule their traveling plans or drop them entirely.
Thr VFS Deputy Head said that they have seen certain individuals come into the middle with fake arrangement affirmations that were “unfortunately” scammed by these people.
“We are trying our best to raise awareness on this issue because many people have fallen for this scam. We have even contacted the required authorities and are carrying out our own investigations on the matter,” VFS Global’s Deputy Head of the UAE said.
She stated that con artists continue to profit from the demand for “revenge travel” and the lack of appointments that Schengen zone states’ embassies in the United Arab Emirates can provide.
Despite the increased demand for Schengen visas, the company cannot increase appointment availability because it is unable to review all applications and allocates appointments in accordance with embassy and consulate guidelines.
Billimoria said that this year has been among the most active for the VFS Global organization after it encountered a sum of 20% flood popular for Schengen Region travel since a year ago.
Schengen Visa delays led a large number of the United Arab Emirates to choose countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia instead of European ones.
According to Online Travel Agencies, residents from UAE countries are continuously choosing countries in the East and in the Indian Ocean after delays in getting appointments for Schengen Visas are increasing.
Fraud cases related to Schengen visa applications are not few. In June this year, security personnel members at VFS Global, the Visa Application Center located in Delhi, India, detected a group of seven applicants who were carrying forged documents in order to apply for visas for Italy.