UK Sikh temple warns after Indians lured with fake visas, job offers


London: A Sikh temple in the UK has issued warnings after fraudsters impersonating as its members tried to trick people in India by making false job and visa promises with an intent of extracting money from them, media reports said.

The Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend placed warnings on its social media pages after they were alerted to fake advertisements titled, “urgently needed in the UK”, offering free food and travel tickets for job opportunities at the Sikh temple, the Kent Online reported.

“We had somebody come into the gurdwara last week who is here but her father is in India and she wanted to see if he could come over,” General secretary of the gurdwara, Jagdev Singh Virdee, said.

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“Her father had been alerted to this ad and asked if it was a job so she came to check whether it’s genuine or not, and that’s how we first found out about it,” Virdee told Kent Online.

Following this, nearly a dozen people got in touch with the gurdwara authorities to enquire about the advertisement, which has been circulated on the internet, and asked people to get in contact via WhatsApp.

According to the news report, some have already gone through the process of exchanging passport information and personal details.

Virdee said that the fraudsters have set up a website domain and email address similar to the gurdwara’s.

“They are faking letters as if it’s a job offer from the gurdwara, then they’re saying to them, ‘you’ve had the job offer now so if you pay over so much money, then we’ll arrange a travel ticket and visa’,” Virdee told Kent Online.

“Please be aware that the following flyer is being used to fraudulently obtain funds from individuals with a false promise of securing a UK visa and job at the Gurdwara Sahib. Please do not exchange any documents or money with this individual,” the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara posted on its website.

“Though the image shows Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, Gravesend, this is no way affiliated to GNDG Gravesend,” it added.

Virdee said that the crime has been reported to both Kent Police and the National Home Office of Action Fraud.

A Kent Police spokesperson said they “received a report on March 29 that an unknown person had falsely purported to represent the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend online, in an attempt to defraud victims”.

“Officers have been in contact with representatives at the Gurdwara and are investigating the circumstances,” the spokesperson said.

Gravesend is home to more than 15,000 Sikhs.

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( With inputs from )

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