Online scams affecting international students

15 April 2021

There has recently been a rise in many types of online scams targeting Chinese students in specific. Read below to find out more about how you can stay safe and look out for such scams to avoid.

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What is a scam?

A scam is a plan to trick people, most often to steal their money.

Anyone on earth can be targeted in a scam, but some scams specifically target international students.

However, there are some simple ways of identifying potential scam calls, messages (via messaging apps) and emails, and what to do if you receive one.

Recent scams taking place targeting international students

There has been a recent rise in online scams taking place that have been specifically targeting Chinese students. Many students have been scam victims whilst using the 'WeChat' app where they are contacted by an individual offering a currency conversion service. Upon arranging meetings with students, it is unfortunate that all have been robbed of their money.

It is highly important for students to recognise that no legitimate company or individual will contact you in such a way to carry out a service such as currency conversion. Students should not at any cost share any information or send any of their details to anyone unknown through any online apps or websites. 

It is most recommended that all students use existing professional services that are offered for currency conversion, rather than going through any third parties. 

Remember, if you’re not 100% sure of the email or message source, don’t click on any links in the email/message.

You can report the incident to Action Fraud, either by using their online reporting tool or by phoning +44 (0)300 123 2040 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm).

To see more about UCL's information on scam prevention, please see their web page.

Please see the below articles for further information on how you can be aware and stay safe: