There is a new wave of fraudulent scams that appears to be targeting students in particular. We are therefore urging all students to be extra careful and read through the following guidance on identifying and reporting these scams.
Advice from West Midlands Police
“West Midlands Police have been advised that a new scam targeting Students has been identified. Students are being called on a phone number they do not recognise, once they answer the call they are told that they must pay an "Immigration Tax" and must pay £1,000 immediately or they will be arrested. We at West Midlands Police would like to reassure you that there is no such "Immigration Tax" and if you are contacted to make a payment then this is a scam. You must end the call immediately and inform West Midlands Police and Action Fraud. Please make sure you report any such phone calls so we can try to prevent anyone else from harm.
Neither the Government or any Police Service in the U.K. would call you and demand an immediate payment or make a threat of arrest if you don't.”
- Dan Ball, Coventry University Liaison Officer from West Midlands Police
Tips for identifying a fraudulent call
West Midlands Police recommend the following:
- If you receive a phone call from a number you do not recognise then do not answer the call. If it is genuine then they will leave a voicemail, if not then a voicemail will not be left because a fraudster will not want to be identified.
- If you answer a call and you are asked for personal details such as your Name, Address, etc. then hang up the phone. If they ask for your name then they do not know you and it's most likely a Fraudulent call.
- Never give out your bank details over the phone to someone you do not know.
- If your phone has the option then turn on Caller ID and Spam Protection. If a call is fraudulent then your phone will identify it so you know whether or not to answer the call. Your phone must be connected to the Internet via WIFI or mobile data for this to work.
If you receive one of these fraudulent calls it is important to report it, this still matters even if you have not shared your personal details or made payment. This allows the Police to investigate further and make other people aware of the scam as well as how to avoid it.
You can report such scams to the Police:
You can also report to Action Fraud:
- Victim Support offer free confidential advice and support to those who have been victims of crime
- Mind offers resources and support services to help with wellbeing and mental health
- Register to WM Now to receive regular safety information from West Midlands Police