Warning: Telephone Scam Targeting International Students
We have been made aware of a scam where Tier 4 visa students receive a telephone call from an individual who fraudulently claims to work for the Home Office.
The caller tries to convince the student it is a genuine call by telling the student to go to the www.gov.uk website, searching for 'Home Office', and then scrolling down to show that the number they seem to be calling from (020 7035 4848) is a genuine Home Office number - the caller ID on the student’s mobile does show this number, and the caller may also know the student's full name, postcode in the UK and passport number, and asks the student to confirm those details are correct.
They then proceed to tell the student they have not paid for an immigration service and, as a result, have to pay a fine (usually £1200 - £1520) or they will be reported to the Police or the Home Office who will detain or deport them.
Although the caller seems to be calling from an official number and may have many personal details about the student they are talking to, this is not a genuine or official call - it is a scam attempting to trick you into transferring them money. The UKVI will not contact students in this manner. If you receive a phone call like this, DO NOT give out any personal information or transfer any money.
Students who have been targeted have reported that the fraudsters become increasingly insistent and verbally aggressive resulting in them feeling forced into making payment.
If you are worried about receiving one of these scam calls, or think you may have already received one, you can find full information and advice from the UK government website here.
You can also contact the International Student Support Team if you are concerned about this matter.