New scam targets Chinese students in the UK

It has recently come to our attention that there is a scam currently targeting Chinese students in the UK. The scam is very complex but it works something like this:

  • The scammers call a student on their UK mobile claiming to be a parcel delivery company. They say that they have an incriminating parcel in the student's name.
  • The scammers then call the student pretending to be the Shanghai police. They say the student's identity has been used for fraudulent or criminal activity and the student must transfer money so they can check that they are innocent.
  • Crucially, the scammers will call the student on a phone number that matches the Shanghai police department, so it looks very realistic. However, this phone number is a fake - it is a 'clone' of the real number and is designed to trick you.
  • Once the student has transferred money the first time, the scammers will demand more money to be transferred, as well as copies of the student's passport, ID card and bank details.

This scam is very serious and has resulted in student victims losing large amounts of money. To help you avoid this scam and others, here are some things to remember:

  • NEVER give your personal details to anyone, either online or over the phone. Legitimate organisations will never ask for copies of your passport or ID card in this way.
  • You should NEVER tell anyone the long number on the front of your bank card, or the three digit security code on the back. This is private information and you are the only person who will ever need to know it.
  • The real police will NEVER ask you to transfer money to them, under any circumstances.
  • Just because a phone number or email address looks real, it does not mean it is. If you are ever in doubt, you should contact the organisation yourself through a method of communication that you trust.

If you think you have been a victim of scam, either online or over the phone, let the University know immediately by emailing studentcommunications@sheffield.ac.uk.

For more information on how to avoid scams, visit the Take 5 website.