Norway’s UDI uncovers use of fake diplomas in hundreds of work permit applications

Several hundred fake education certificates and diplomas were used in fraudulent Norwegian work permit applications, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has revealed.

Pictured is a diploma certifcate.
The UDI has uncovered several residence applications which were submitted with fraudulent documents. Pictured is a diploma certifcate. Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

For the majority who hail from outside the EEA, the main way to be able to live and work in Norway legally is by holding a residence permit.

The most common of these for workers without a Norwegian partner is the work permit. These are awarded to individuals who have been offered a job by an employer which requires specific qualifications to be carried out, such as a university degree or vocational education diploma.

Norway’s immigration authority, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UD), last year uncovered hundreds of work permit applications that were submitted with fraudulent documentation, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports.

These came in the form of counterfeit education certificates used to demonstrate the applicant is qualified for the job offered.

The immigration authority first detected the use of fake paperwork when it received an abnormally large number of applications from Turkish nationals claiming to be trained chefs. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the applicants had issued bogus certificates and weren’t formally trained as cooks.

Following this discovery, the UDI performed a random check of 20 applications, 11 of which turned out to be fraudulent. This prompted increased scrutiny of similar application types.

Aftenposten also reports that the UDI discovered applications from Indian nationals with fake certificates saying they were trained as mechanics. The UDI also uncovered applications from Kosovo and Iran filed with forged documentation.

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Norwegian health authorities warn against new online fraud attempts

Several people have reported receiving fake e-mails from fraudsters pretending to work for Helsenorge - Norway's digital health portal - in recent days.

Norwegian health authorities warn against new online fraud attempts

The health authorities encourage people not to click on the links in such e-mails.

Helsenorge will never ask you for your credit information, security codes, or account numbers via e-mail or SMS,” Norsk helsennett – which is charged with ensuring a secure ICT infrastructure for electronic interaction between the actors in the health and care sector – wrote in a press release on Tuesday.

The fake e-mail that some people have received contains a link to a fake website that imitates the ID-authorisation interface, which is used for logging into the Helsenorge site.

Helsenett further noted that the fake e-mails are attempts to steal sensitive information that can be used for acquiring illicit financial gain.

“If you have provided card or code information as requested by such a fake e-mail, block your cards and accounts as soon as possible. If you have provided personal information, know that it can be used for several fraud attempts, so be attentive in the future,” Norsk helsenett warned.

If you have been the victim of fraud in Norway, consult our explainer on the key steps you must go through to safeguard your finances and personal information.