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    Morocco’s Interbank Monetary Center Warns Citizens of Visa Scams

    The scammers repeatedly trick victims into redoing the transaction claiming that the payment did not go through.

    24 Aug 2022

    Rabat - Online scams involving individuals asking for money in exchange for more recent appointments for Schengen Visa applications are becoming increasingly widespread, according to the Director of Morocco’s Interbank Monetary Center (CMI), Ismail Bellali.

    In a Linkedln post, Bellali warned citizens of online scams involving individuals who claim they can “reschedule appointments for Schengen Visas” for candidates for the right price.

    The scams actually aim to trick individuals into sharing their bank account details to receive their fees, and they repeatedly trick victims into redoing the transaction claiming that the payment did not go through, Bellali wrote.

    “The scammers ask their victims to pay the fees by credit card. Victims share their credit card details, and a moment later, victims receive the payment validation code from their bank, which he gives to the fraudster, and the payment transaction is validated,” the post explained.

    It added, “However, this is a payment transaction for a top-up of the scammer's account balance. The scammer is not satisfied with just one transaction, he tells the victim that the payment failed because he entered the code incorrectly and they repeat the transaction a second time, a third time…”

    The admission process for the Schengen Visa has long been the center of controversy in many African countries over the past.

    In Morocco, the issue came into the national spotlight last year after Paris announced plans to halve the number of visas for Moroccans over the North African country’s “unwillingness” to cooperate on the repatriation of illegal Moroccans illegally established in France.

    On August 14, reports resurfaced alleging that France has even been making it harder for former Moroccan ministers, senior officials, and businesspeople to file for visas.

    According to the reports, the French parliament is deliberately imposing a new round of restrictions on Moroccan travelers.

    While announcing its move late last year, the French government said it would be reducing by 30% the number of visas issued for Tunisians, as well as by 50% for Algerian and Moroccan nationals.

    Yet recent reports indicate that the French consulates in Morocco may have actually slashed visa issuances by 70%.

    Despite France’s draconian measures to keep Moroccans from acquiring visas, Moroccans remain the largest non-EU citizens’ to receive residency permits in France.

    Since announcing the decision to cut back visas for Moroccans, a number of prominent figures have spoken out against the measure.

    Earlier this week, the prominent Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun said the French government is committing a series of “serious mistakes” that puts the long-standing French-Moroccan at great peril.

    “Apparently, neither President Emmanuel Macron nor his Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, is aware of the deterioration of relations between France and Morocco,” Benjelloun wrote.

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