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Have you been contacted by some one claiming to be from the Home Office?

Scam targeting international students

It has been brought to our attention that there is a current scam which is targeting Tier 4 students. Some students may receive a telephone call from an individual who fraudulently purports to represent the Home Office.

This scam may follow a similar pattern to previous scams:

  • A student receives a call or an email from someone pretending to be from the Home Office and may know personal details such as full names, passport numbers and postcodes
  • The incoming number may appear to match a genuine number such as the Home Office one (020 7035 4848) and they may ask you to verify in on the Home Office website where the number may appear. They can also pretend to be another legitimate organisation such as an education agent, UKCISA or even the police
  • The student is told that there is a problem with their visa and that they need to pay a fine and/or give the caller personal information and contact details (sometimes the caller would have already in possession of some of the student's personal details such as passport number which makes it even more convincing).
  • They may instruct the student to pay the fine via Western Union & MoneyGram; they may also instruct the student to obtain further cash and/or purchase a large amount of ITunes gift cards.
  • They claim that if the victim does not pay the fine (usually £1200 - £1520 but can be higher) you will be reported to the Police/or the Home Office who will detain or deport them.

Please remember that the Home Office (or UKCISA) will never call an international student to request payments or ask for personal details in this way. DO NOT make payments or give information to anyone calling you like this.

If this happens to you, you can report the matter online to Action Fraud. You do not have to give your name and address if you don’t want to and any information you provide will be treated as confidential:

Or at:

  • If you have already been targeted and have made a payment, please contact the Office Global Engagement: +44 (0) 24 7652 3706 / Please telephone us if you need an urgent response.

If you require out-of-hours emergency support, please contact the Campus Security Control Centre on 024 7652 2222 or internal extension 22222.

You may also wish to contact: Wellbeing Support Services (formerly Student Support Services):

You can read our full information on telephone frauds and scams, including how to report a scam call if you receive one.

Check British Council's

Creating Confidence booklet

for more useful tips to ensure your time studying in the UK is safe and enjoyable