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Beware of Home Office visa fee and fine payment scam targeting international students

There have been reports of a number of visa fee and fine payment scams targeting international students across the country. Always question unexpected requests for your personal or financial information, and when opening emails from unknown sources or from a known source but with unknown/suspicious content.

27 November 2018

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UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have reported that scammers are targeting international students with fake visa fee or fine payment requests in an effort to steal money and personal details. The scammers are calling students, claiming to be from the Home Office and demanding money for non-existent visa fees and fines, sometimes in the way of gift cards or iTunes vouchers.

Home Office or UKVI officials will never contact you to pay visa fees or fines over the phone, nor will they ask you to pay visa fees or fines using gift cards, iTunes vouchers, cryptocurrency or money transfer services.

How to stay safe

  • Always question unexpected requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Even if someone knows your basic details, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
  • Trusted organisations won't pressure you to make a financial transaction on the spot. If something feels wrong, question it.

What to do if you think you have been targeted

  • Do not give out private information, reply to messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting.
  • If you suffer financial loss, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool.
  • If you are worried about your visa status, you can contact UKVI on 0300 123 224.

If you have any concerns, you can also call the IT Service Desk on 020 7882 8888. Free cyber security awareness training is also available for students on QMplus – just search for cyber and information security.

 

 

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