Most students think they will never fall for a scam. But many do. That’s because scammers are very clever and increasingly sophisticated.
Scammers often specifically target international students for money. If you receive a request from UNSW or a government or police agency asking for money, please contact the International Student Experience Unit for advice to see whether it is legitimate (a real request). This is confidential and will not have an effect on your visa or enrolment.
The only money UNSW will ask you for are your regular tuition fees, SSAF, library book fines or rent for accommodation if you live on campus.
If you suspect something might be a scam, you can call us on + 61 2 9385 4734 or log a request online. Never give your details or money to someone claiming to be from UNSW unless you are sure it is legitimate.
Scammers will often pretend to be from an official organisation such as:
- Australia’s immigration office or other government departments
- An official visa agent
- Australian police
- An Embassy, High Commission or Consulate
- The World Health Organisation
- A property rental agent
Scammers will want money or information and may ask you to:
- provide personal, bank or credit card details
- send money to a third party
- pay additional student fees or a fine
- pay a ‘deposit’
- pay additional money for your visa
- pay your rent to someone other than your landlord
Scammers may threaten and lie to you by saying ‘unless you pay money/fees/fine':
- your visa will be cancelled
- your place at university will be cancelled
- you will fail your course
- you will be deported
- you will be arrested
- you will lose your job
- you will be evicted
None of this is true.
‘Phishing’ messages are also common COVID-19 scams which:
- appear to be official information from the Australian government or other organisation
- can be emails, text message or social media posts
- ask you to click on a link for more information on Coronavirus so that malicious software can ‘steal’ your personal, financial and banking information.
What should I do if I suspect a scam?
- Don’t provide any information
- If you receive a phone call – hang up
- If you receive a text, email or social post that you are not sure about, delete it. Do not reply. Do not click on any links
- If you receive a request for money, or a threat, or if you have any doubts or suspicions about any request – cut off communication and contact the International Student Experience Unit to check whether it is real.
- Speak Up! Don’t be afraid to seek help or advice. Speaking up protects you, your family and other students.