WARNING: NON-EU INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TARGETED BY FAKE HOME OFFICE OFFICIALS DEMANDING £££s
The University of Manchester Students’ Union and other student bodies are issuing urgent advice to all non-EU international students on how to avoid falling victim to a recent phone scam that has led to some students losing thousands of pounds to fraudsters. The Students' Union, along with the University of Manchester (UoM) and national organisations representing international students such as the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) and the National Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), is issuing the warning after receiving a number of reports from Indian and Chinese students who have received calls from individuals posing as Home Office officials or the UK Police demanding sums of money to avoid disputes with UK authorities.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The Home Office will never ring you and ask you to disclose your personal information or demand you to pay a charge.
If you are an international student subject to this situation, please do not share any personal information including your passport, visa, bank details and home address.
Please do not make any payment and do not engage in any kind of further conversation with the fraudster.
Report this issue to the UK Action Fraud/ your Students' Union Advice service/your University International student advice service. We strongly advice you to report this issue as intimidation and fraud is a crime.
HOW THE FRAUDSTERS WORK:
The fraudsters are using a software which enables them to display any telephone number they wish on your phone and therefore, it might look like a genuine call from the home office (0207354848) or the UK Police (02072301212).
The fraudster might threaten you by saying that if you hang up the call at any point, it will be deemed that you are non-cooperative and that you are suspected of being involved in a criminal activity.
The fraudsters sound professional, persistent and authoritative. They might intimidate you by using phrases like ‘deportation notice’, ‘late fee charges’, ‘10-years ban to enter the UK’ if you refuse immediate payment .
If you are a University of Manchester student affected by this fraud:
Contact the Students' Union Advice Service for welfare support, reporting fraud and any other sort of help regarding this issue:
Phone - 0161 275 2952
Alternatively, contact the Student Services Centre at the University of Manchester:
Phone 0161 275 5000
The University Language Centre (ULC) at the University of Manchester has released a statement on the Blackboard about this fraud. Please refer to it using your student login to the Blackboard.
If you are an international student at any other university and are a victim of this Fraud:
Contact your Students' Union Advice Service/ University International Student advice teams as soon as possible.
ADVICE FOR INDIAN STUDENTS
If you are an Indian student at any university, the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) have released an Alert & Advisory statement about this fraud on all their social media channels.
Alternatively, you can also email email@example.com
ADVICE FOR CHINESE STUDENTS:
If you are a Chinese student at any university, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) have released an Alert & Advisory statement about this fraud, which can be found online at the Chinese embassy website- http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/chn/lsfwxx/t1566458.htm or on all the CSSA social media channels
ACTION WE WILL TAKE AT the University of Manchester Students’ Union:
The Indian High Commission and the Chinese Embassy are already aware of this issue. UMSU will contact the high street banks with whom most international students have their accounts to make them aware of this issue and to receive any bank-specific advice for victims of this scam. We will also contact the Home Office as a matter of course to inform them of our students’ experiences and to receive any advice they have to our international student population. We will keep UoM students informed of any new information or advice we receive to give us the best chance of putting a stop to this terrible scam.
STAY SAFE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS!!!
University of Manchester Students’ Union Executive Team 2018/19