Update from Teesside University

Online and telephone fraud - things you need to know

We are getting in touch with our international community to make you aware of certain scams which are targeting international students in particular.

Please be on your guard, protect your personal information and do everything you can not to be caught out by fraudsters.

It is common to see a rise in scams that specifically target students across the UK when starting university. These can be online, via social media and email, or by phone, and are an attempt to gain access to systems or encourage you to disclose financial information or transfer money.

They often come disguised as communications from the Home Office, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI), Police, HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC), Department of Education, the Student Loans Company, or official agencies from your home country and are an attempt to get money from students or to use their identity.

Be aware of telephone scams

Telephone scams in particular are prominent at the moment and we are aware of international students receiving calls saying they owe National Insurance, or had failed to pay an Immigration Fee when they arrived in the UK.

Students may be told that they could be arrested, fined more money, or even contacted by the court and the caller can easily make it look as if they are calling from a specific location linked to the scam.

Please remember, no official organisation in the UK will EVER call you and demand money – if you owe money to an organisation they will write to you directly and will already know your full name and address.

And, if you are working (part time or full time) in the UK, National Insurance is deducted from your pay before you receive your money.

Protect your personal details

Never give out your personal information over the phone – this includes your name, bank details, address and age – if the caller is genuine, they will already know this.

For emails and texts, check for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign of a scam. Do not click on any links or open attachments contained within emails which you are not expecting. If you receive an email or text message which asks you to login to an online account via a link provided, open your browser and go directly to the company’s website yourself.

If you have doubts about a communication you have received, always check before you take any action. You can always respond at a later date, when you are sure that the communication is genuine.

Report any concerns

If you think your bank details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately and stop all communication.

If you have been affected by any type of fraud, you can also report it to Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.

We are also here to support you and you can receive help and guidance by contacting studentlife@tees.ac.uk.

We also have a free, 24 hour helpline, 0800 0283766, which provides support and advice on a whole range of issues, from stress and anxiety, to financial and legal information.

Best wishes
Student Communications team

Teesside University  Middlesbrough  TS1 3BX