Scam affecting international students

11 October 2018

A number of students across UK universities have been targeted by online and mobile scams. Read on for some tips on how to stay safe.


We have been made aware that a number of students across UK universities have been targeted by fraudsters and have lost large sums of money. 

You can find more information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) webpages.

We want to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of keeping your personal data safe, and not falling victim to any similar scam. Below are some steps you can take to do this:

  • Some criminals may target you online or over the phone, for example by telephoning you and pretending to be from a legitimate organisation (such as a bank, the UK Home Office, an education agent and so forth).
  • They demand money and claim that if you do not pay them quickly, there will be damaging consequences.
  • The caller may appear to be genuine and convincing, either because they have some limited information about you (for example, your passport number, as well as your telephone number and name) or because they appear to be calling from a legitimate phone number.
  • If you receive such a call or a similar contact, don't give the caller any personal information and do not confirm that any information they have is correct.
  • You should never give out your personal details to a caller, as you cannot verify their identity. 

If you do receive any such contact, please report this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website.

You may also find the following Countdown to UCL articles on safety useful.  

For more information about the most common types of fraud, please see the Little Guide Animations playlist by the Metropolitan Police Service FALCON (Fraud and Linked Crime Online). 

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing