Warning: Unscrupulous VET marketing agents targeting refugees and migrants
Migrants and refugees, particularly those with limited English are being approached by agents claiming they work for the Australian Government. We have had reports that scammers have lured people with laptops, tablets and cash handouts in exchange for them registering for vocational education and training courses without explaining the terms and conditions, including the loan repayments.
Some people have incurred a significant debt from these student loans after registering in courses that are irrelevant for their needs.
It is timely to also remind everyone to protect their personal information such as their Tax File Number (TFN), drivers licence or Medicare card. An anti-scam video was developed by the Department of Education and Training and is a handy resource which sets out how important it is to keep your personal information secure at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z-zQzkmbTg
If you know someone that may have been a victim of a scam and are concerned they may have a VET FEE-HELP debt, they can contact the VET Student Loans Ombudsman – www.ombudsman.gov.au/about/vet-student-loans-ombudsman
Students can apply for the re-crediting of their VET FEE-HELP debt where there has been ‘unacceptable conduct’ by a provider on or after 1 January 2016.
The VET Student Loans program has replaced the VET FEE-HELP scheme and offers income contingent loan support to eligible students studying Diploma level and above. Students interested in accessing a VET Student Loan, should read information at https://www.education.gov.au/vet-information-students
Permanent humanitarian visa holders are eligible to access income-contingent loans under both the VET FEE-HELP (2009-2016) and VET Student Loans (2017 onwards).