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25 October 2023

Watch out for—and find out how to protect yourself from—this scam targeting Chinese students!

We’ve been alerted by the Australian Government Department of Education of increased scam activity targeting Chinese international students. These scammers impersonate police and officials to threaten and intimidate you into giving them your money and personal information.

Please read through this blog and remain cautious to best protect yourself from this scam.

What to watch out for

This scam involves you receiving a call or message from a scammer pretending to be from a phone company or financial institution, saying your phone or identity has been used in a scam or financial crime.

They will then transfer you to another scammer impersonating the Chinese police. You’ll be told that unless you make a payment to them, you could be extradited or deported to China.

To make their claims seem more convincing, scammers can use elaborate methods including:

What to do if a scammer contacts you

If you have a feeling that something might be off when receiving a call or message, or are suspicious for any reason, then act carefully.

You can find out more about this scam on the Department of Education website, including a factsheet available in both English and Chinese Simplified.

Where you can get help

There are no consequences for reporting a potential scam – it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Some resources on scams

Stay up to date with the latest known online scams by bookmarking and regularly visiting Deakin’s Online safety and security webpage. You can also find more information about common scams targeting students via Study Melbourne’s website. 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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