International students threatened with deportation in fake Home Office scam

The Independent is reporting that fraudsters posing as Home Office officials or as the police have been targeting international students and threatening to deport them unless they pay money upfront.

National organisations have issued urgent advice to help international students – who come from non-EU countries like India and China – to avoid falling victim to a recent phone scam.

Students have been told by fraudsters they face immediate deportation and a 10-year ban from the UK for failing to fill out paperwork correctly – unless they pay a fine of up to £6,500.

Some victims have already lost thousands of pounds to fraudsters to avoid disputes with UK authorities, according to recent University of Manchester Students’ Union (SU) guidance.

“They might intimidate you by using phrases like ‘deportation notice’, ‘late fee charges’, ‘10-year ban to enter the UK’ if you refuse immediate payment,” the notice from Manchester SU says.

The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (Nisau) and the Chinese Students’ and Scholars Association (Cssa) have also both published advisory statements on the latest targeted scam.

Riddi Viswanathan, international officer at Manchester SU, said on Twitter she was “absolutely appalled” international students were being “targeted” for money by fraudsters.

Yinbo Yu, international students’ officer at the National Union of Students (NUS), told The Independent: “It’s also worth remembering that universities have a duty of care towards their students, and could be doing much, much more to reassure students at risk that adequate protections are in place.”

Read more International students threatened with deportation in fake Home Office scam

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