Report something unlawful or suspicious

Reporting suspicious, unlawful or criminal behaviour actively helps us to protect Australia's border and manage the movement of people and goods across it. We take all reports of suspicious activity seriously and you can choose to make a report anonymously.

We have two reporting lines:

  • The Border Watch reporting line should be used to report offences such as the import and export of dangerous drugs, illegal firearms or wildlife.
  • The immigration and citizenship fraud reporting service should be used to report offences such as breach of visas, visa fraud or people working illegally in breach of their visa.

Border Watch

Border Watch is one way we are helping to protect Australia’s border—by enabling industry and the community to report suspicious behaviour. We rely on the knowledge of industry, the community and Border Watch members as these groups know their local environments better than anyone. Your information could be the key piece of the puzzle that leads to the detection and seizure of dangerous drugs, or the import and export of illegal firearms, currency or wildlife. By reporting suspicious activities, you actively help protect Australia's border. All reports can be made anonymously.

You can report suspicious behaviour to Border Watch using our online form. You can visit the Border Watch page to become a member or for more information.

The immigration and citizenship fraud reporting service

The immigration and citizenship fraud reporting service receives reports relating to individuals who do not hold a valid visa to remain in Australia, are working illegally in breach of their visa conditions, or have lied or provided false documents in their visa application. All reports can be made anonymously.

To make a report of this type, visit the report immigration or citizenship fraud page where you can complete an online form and provide details of suspected offences.

Border protection and customs fraud and offences

Border protection and customs fraud and offences include:

  • the illegal importation or exportation of drugs and precursor chemicals
  • illegal weapons, illegal pornography, currency, or fauna
  • duty and revenue evasion, counterfeit goods and trademark infringements
  • importation of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals
  • people smuggling
  • foreign fighters
  • illegal and dangerous weapons
  • performance and image enhancing drugs (steroids)
  • illegal import or export of currency or fauna
  • illegal pornography and child abuse images
  • counterfeit goods
  • trademark infringement
  • duty evasion
  • revenue evasion
  • incorrect application of the tariff
  • anti-dumping measures
  • fraud against us, including a person working for us who is committing fraud of any type.

Immigration and citizenship fraud and offences

Immigration and citizenship fraud offences include individuals who:

  • do not hold a valid visa to remain in Australia
  • are working illegally in breach of their visa conditions
  • have lied or provided false documents in their visa application.

Examples of these offences include:

  • a person in a fake marriage or relationship who has obtained a visa
  • a  person who has overstayed their visa
  • a person working more hours than their visa permits
  • a person who holds a student visa and is not studying
  • an individual providing immigration advice but is not a registered migration agent
  • anyone helping people to remain or work in Australia unlawfully
  • anyone visiting Australia to promote extremist ideologies, advocate violence as a means to an end, or to vilify a segment of the community.

It also includes a business, employer or organisation you think is:

  • breaching its sponsorship obligations
  • allowing people to work illegally
  • involved in sexual servitude or deceptive recruiting.

Submitting a report

Before you make your report, there are many things you need to consider:

  • whether you want to remain anonymous
  • types of offences we are interested in
  • information we find useful
  • information that is best provided to other authorities
  • what we do with the information you report to us.

If English is not your preferred language, we can arrange for an interpreter to help you.

For immigration and citizenship fraud and offences, you can make a report on the website using the online form. Alternatively, you can send us a report via mail or fax.

Telephone

Call the Immigration and Citizenship Reporting Line to report something suspicious.

Telephone:
1800 009 623 (in Australia)
+61 2 6246 1325 (if you are outside Australia or using a satellite phone)

Post

Send us your report by post to:

National Allegation Assessment Team
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
GPO Box 241
Melbourne
Victoria 3001

Fax

Send us your report by fax to 1800 009 849.

Information to provide in your report

We require a certain amount of information before starting an investigation so provide us with as much information as possible. The information we find useful depends on what the suspicious activity is about.

Individual

If your allegation relates to an individual you will need to supply their:

  • name (including any aliases or nicknames)
  • age or date of birth
  • gender (male or female)
  • nationality
  • telephone numbers (home, work and mobile)
  • email address
  • social media user accounts (Facebook and Twitter for example)
  • marital status
  • spouse/partner name and date of birth
  • home address and details of when they are usually at home
  • work address and details of when they are usually at work.

Also provide:

  • the name of their employer
  • a physical description of the person
  • any character issues such as criminal background or history of violence
  • passport number
  • date of arrival and type of visa held
  • details of the person's vehicle (registration number, make, model and colour)
  • details of any pets (especially dogs) at the person's residence or workplace
  • the reason why you think the person is of concern.

Business, employer or organisation

If your allegation relates to a business, employer or organisation you will need to supply their:

  • business name (registered and trading)
  • street address and phone number
  • email and website addresses
  • social media user accounts (Facebook and Twitter for example)
  • the name of the business owner, employer and/or sponsor
  • the reason why you think the business/employer/organisation is of concern.

Vehicle, vessel or aircraft

If your allegation relates to a vehicle, vessel or aircraft you will need to supply their:

  • identifying details, such as a commercial flight number, a registration number, or a ship name
  • the craft's origin, destination, and current location, as well as its travel path
  • the owner of the craft and details of people on board
  • a physical description that would allow it to be identified
  • the reason why the craft is of concern.

Mail, package or cargo, and prohibited importation or exportation

If your allegation relates to mail, package or cargo and prohibited importation or exportation you will need to supply their:

  • unique identifier, such as a container number or airway bill number
  • where was the item sent from and who sent it
  • where is the item sent to and who is receiving it
  • a physical description
  • the method of any concealment
  • the reason why the item is of concern.

What we do with the information you provide

All reports we receive are acted on, so there is no need to send us further copies of the same report. For privacy reasons, no information can be provided to you on the progress or outcome of our investigations.

Sometimes the information we are provided is too general to investigate, however it can still help us to identify fraud trends, high-risk industries and issues that should be monitored.

We only collect information relevant for the investigation of matters relating to the Migration Act 1958, Citizenship Act 2007, Customs Act 1901 or Australian Border Force Act 2015 and fraud against us.

Information to provide other authorities

If the information you are reporting does not relate to immigration, citizenship or customs offences, other authorities exist that might be able to investigate the matter you want to report.

National Security Hotline

The National Security Hotline is the single point of contact for the public to report possible signs of terrorism. It also provides information to callers on a wide range of national security matters.

See: The National Security Hotline

Police

For Commonwealth crimes or crimes that take place in the Australian Capital Territory, information can be referred to the Australian Federal Police.

See: Report a Commonwealth crime

To provide information to the police call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

See: Crime Stoppers

Department of Human Services

The Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line provides people with a place to report suspected fraud against Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support programs.

See: Reporting Fraud at the Department of Human Services

Australian Taxation Office

Tax evasion can be reported to the Australian Taxation Office.

See: How to report tax evasion

Department of Agriculture

Information that is a quarantine or biosecurity concern can be reported.

See: Department of Agriculture

Fairwork Ombudsman

The Fair Work Ombudsman ensures compliance with Australian workplace laws.

See: Fair Work Ombudsman

Scamwatch

A website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission helps to recognise, avoid and report scams.

See: SCAMwatch