Muscat: The Indian embassy in Muscat has cautioned people against a fake website dealing in visas. Through a press release on January 28, the embassy told online visa applicants not to fall prey to fraudsters and advised them to visit the authentic website only.
"The mission office is aware of the fake website. We advise applicants to log on to the authentic website to avoid falling victim to fraudsters," Srinivasa Babu, first secretary (consular) at the Indian embassy in Muscat, told Times of Oman.
The Indian mission in United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also warned people against logging on to the fake website (india-visa.co/index.php), which is accessible in Oman also and claims to facilitate Indian visas.
The UAE mission said, "Some unscrupulous elements have created a website similar to the Online Visa Application website of the Government of India and are deceiving people (asking them) to pay the service fee." The scam came to light close on the heels of the news that the Indian government had decided to extend visa-on-arrival and electronic travel authorisation to citizens of 180 countries.
The fake website claims to have expertise in Indian tourism, business and long-term entry visas. The instructions on the website ask users to pay a service fee of £55 or $90 or in equivalent euros/rupees. This website is only charging service fees and is asking applicants to pay visa fee later at the visa centre.
The official and authentic website for online visa application has the URL address www.indianvisaonline.gov.in.