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Telephone scam targeting international students

It has been brought to our attention by the Home Office that there is a current scam which is targeting Tier 4 students.  Some students may receive a telephone call from an individual who fraudulently purports to represent the Home Office.

The caller tells the student to verify their telephone number 020 7035 4848 on the www.gov.uk website, search for Home Office, and then scroll down to the bottom of the screen so that they can verify that the caller is calling from the genuine Home Office number.  The caller ID on the student’s mobile does show this number.

The telephone caller claims to be from the UK Home Office and appears to be genuine and convincing as they have some personal information (typically, the caller will know passport numbers, as well as telephone numbers, postcode and names) and ask victims to confirm the details they have are correct.

They may then tell victims that they have not paid for an immigration service and, as a result, have to pay a fine (usually £1200 - £1520 but maybe more or less) or they will be reported to the Police/or the Home Office who will detain or deport them.   

Students who have been targeted have reported that the fraudsters become very insistent and forceful.  This is a common fraudster's technique, aimed at causing you to panic and become pressurised into paying the "fine"/ “money”.

These calls are NOT from the Home Office.  Neither the Home Office nor UKVI would contact you in this manner.

If you receive such a call:

* Do not give the caller any personal information, nor confirm that any information they have is correct. Do not make any payment. 

*   You may wish to take their name and number, and you may wish to tell the caller that you know the call is fraudulent, and that you will be reporting the call to the police and the Home Office.  Or you may wish to simply hang up.

*   Report the incident to your International Student Adviser in the Office for International Office, who can report the fraud to the police and to the Home Office if you wish.

*   If you wish, you can report the matter online to Action Fraud (where you will find a link to report it to the Home Office): 

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

 

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