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26 May 2023

Beware current scams targeting international students

Victoria Police has issued a new warning about a current worldwide scam targeting young people and the Mandarin-speaking community.

This latest scam involves people receiving pre-recorded phone or social media messages saying they have a package on hold for them. The message also includes threats:

The scammers tell victims they have been implicated in a crime, and/or may face arrest or deportation if they do not comply. See this Victoria Police factsheet for more information.

Messages of this nature are always a lie. Do not respond to any messages like this. 

What should I do if I receive a message like this?

If you receive contact via phone, text, or email from anyone claiming to be holding a package for you, do not respond – it is a scam. If you receive contact via phone, text, or email from anyone claiming to be from the Chinese Embassy, Australian Embassy or other government official, and who is making threats about arrest or deportation, do not respond – it is a scam. Do not provide any of your personal or banking details to these people. 

We understand receiving these types of messages can be frightening – cybercriminals purposely try to frighten you to get you to panic and do what they say.

What you need to know:

How can I protect myself from scams?

Please be especially wary of any unsolicited or unexpected communications you receive and think before you click – these can be sophisticated and look legitimate. 

Please bookmark and regularly visit Deakin’s cybersecurity blog to stay up to date with the latest known online scams. You can also find more information about common scams targeting international students via Study Melbourne’s website.

If you believe you have been targeted, you can report scams at You can also follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts.

The ACCC’s Little Black Book of Scams is also a handy tool for recognising scams – it is available in various languages including Simplified Chinese on the ACCC website).

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