The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is urging people to beware of a global scam offering overseas residents a Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) and Australian visas to gain jobs with cruise companies.

Scammers have been targeting people in several countries via emails offering job opportunities with cruise line operating in Australia and a relevant visa.

AMSA became aware of the email scam in October last year and a number of people have reported being targeted by the scam or have been scammed.

The email scam offers job opportunities with bogus cruise lines, including Silver Cruise and Princess Line Australia, operating in Australia and a relevant visa on the completion of paperwork of the inaccurately named “Australia Maritime Security Identification Card” (AMSIC).

Ship Safety Division General Manager Allan Schwartz said the form sent to those responding to the email was fraudulent but has fooled some with a reasonably sophisticated look.

“The form has AMSA’s logo and name at the top and requests a payment, along with scans of passport and identity cards to apply for the identification card,” Mr Schwartz said.

“AMSA does not issue Maritime Security Identification Cards.

“Not only will the scam cost people money for something they will never receive but it also risks their personal information.”

The scam has also implicated other Australian federal government agencies, non-existent overseas embassies and a local union in a bid to appear authentic but may come in various forms.

Anyone who receives the scam email or has fallen victim to the scam should contact local police authorities.

Report suspected scams to SCAMwatch, an independent website run by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

See the Department of Immigration website for information about working in Australia.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development have information on how to apply for an Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) and offers a list of issuing bodies that provide them.

Source: AMSA