Lincolnshire Police have told us about a scam targeted at international students.
Someone is telephoning students and pretending to be from the Home Office or from the Police. The caller tells the student that there is a problem with their visa and that they have to pay if they want to stay in the UK. The caller asks for the student’s bank details so that they can help to sort the problem. They then use the bank details to take all the money out of the student’s account.
Alternatively, someone is telephoning students and pretending to be their Embassy or Consulate in the UK. The caller tells the student there may be a problem with bank account of their bank card and that there is a suspicious of fraud on the account. The caller asks for the student’s bank details so that they can help to sort the problem. They then use the bank details to take all the money out of the student’s account.
The caller may know your name, address or passport number.
The number they call you from may match a genuine number, like the Home Office number (0207 035 4848) and they may ask you to check this on the Home Office website.
The caller may ask you not to use the internet, or not to speak to anyone else and stay on the line.
The caller may ask you to pay using Western Union or MoneyGram, or to get cash or gift cards.
The caller will say that if you cannot pay you will be deported and that they will come to your home immediately to fetch you.
Please remember that the Home Office, the Embassy and the UK Police will never call you to ask for payments or for your personal details. Do not make payments or give information to anyone who calls you about your visa like this.
If you get a call from someone you are not sure about, end the call and don’t use the phone again for at least 15 minutes, because the caller may still be on the line. If the caller is genuine this will not be a problem. If you want to contact a friend, use a different phone or send a text.
If this happens to you, you can report it to Action Fraud
And you can report it to Lincolnshire Police
If this has happened to you, please tell us about it. You can contact the Student Support Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about scams and fraud, please see the UKCISA website here:
And there is more information on the UK Government website