Scams targeting international students in Australia
How to avoid scammers
If you are contacted by someone you do not know, do not say yes to anything until you are sure you know who you are speaking to. If you do not know the person contacting you, hang up or stop communicating with them immediately and contact RMIT Training. They will help you verify if the person contacting you is a scammer or not.
Tips to protect yourself from scams
Never transfer or give money to someone you do not know. Once money is paid, it is hard to get it back.
- Never give your credit card or personal account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number is from a trusted source you recognise
- If you think you have provided your bank account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution and RMIT immediately
- When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, fax, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam.
How to identify a scammer
Scammers are very sneaky, they can:
- Tell you personal information about yourself
- Say you have done something illegal
- Try to scare you
- Pretend they are the police or government
- Offer to help you or give you a “good deal”
- Tell you not to tell your friends, family or University
- Use fake phone numbers, websites, email addresses and identification
- Continue to contact you until they are sure you have no more money
If anyone you do not recognise says any of these things, it is likely a scam.
IMPORTANT: The Victorian Police and the Australian Government will not contact you and threaten you. If you are threatened by anyone, immediately end the call or conversation.
Current scams targeting international students
Every few months, someone thinks up a new way to scam international students. A scam is when someone tries to get your money or personal information. If someone asks you for money, come and see Student Services on Level 3 or speak with your teacher to check you are not being scammed.
As of June 2020:
Scammers pretending to be Chinese authorities and/or employees of DHL. These people are threatening deportation and/or arrest unless they pay large sums of money. They may tell you that they found a package with fake passports/credit cards with your details on it, your bank account has been used for illegal activity, you are involved in a crime or you can avoid jail if you pay money.
- We've been advised about a scam on SMS where people are being asked to pay for a COVID-19 test kit via a website - do not pay this, it is a scam. If in doubt, ask your Student Services team.
- Someone calls you and pretends to be from the government. They say that they have a file on you and that you have to pay a migration fee and tax. They tell you that your family will be sent to jail if you don’t pay the money and that you will be arrested.
- Someone becomes your friend through WeChat or Whatsapp and asks you to buy MOLpoints for them and send them pictures of the receipts. They may tell you to buy more MOLpoints and threaten to hurt you, or someone else, if you don’t do what they say.
- DHL contacts you about a package of fake credit cards with your name on it and says you must report to the Public Security Bureau. You are then asked to transfer money to Bitcoin to prove your innocence.
- You are offered a discount on your RMIT tuition fees to pay through another person. They pay RMIT with a fake or stolen credit card which is rejected. This means you need to pay the fees again to RMIT but your enrolment may be cancelled due to non-payment.
- Someone calling from the delivery company DHL. They pretend to transfer you to the police who say you have sent an illegal shipment. You’ll be asked to transfer a large amount of money to a bank account and to communicate only through the Ding Ding app. They will also say that if you tell anyone and do not cooperate you will not be able to travel in China.
Find out more about scams targeting international students:
Scamwatch shares scams in Chinese languages and many others. Please follow this link if you would like more information: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/about-scamwatch/tools-resources/in-your-language