Being vigilant against phone scams

17 July 2019

Students are once again being urged to exercise caution over phone calls and messages asking them to hand over money or personal information.

The Australian Federal Police is warning that telephone and online scams are currently targeting the Chinese community in Australia, particularly international students.

If you receive a call or message you think is a scam, never respond to the call or follow the message prompts to call back.

If you think someone is trying to scam you, or you’ve been scammed, the police advise to stop all contact with the scammer and contact your local police or consulate immediately.

You may be being scammed if you are:

  • Being threatened with deportation or arrest if you do not cooperate
  • Being put in contact with multiple people who say they are members of the Chinese Public Security Bureau
  • Being told to communicate only via encrypted video and online chat applications such as WhatsApp, WeChat and QQ
  • Being coerced into isolating yourself by cutting off contact with friends and family
  • Being coerced into moving out of your home and into accommodation such as a hotel or apartment
  • Members of your family being contacted by the scammers with demands to pay an extortion or ransom

Tips on how to protect yourself:

  • If you suspect you are involved in a scam do not send any money
  • Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source
  • If you think you have provided your bank account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately

For more information and to report scams visit Scamwatch

More information about scams, and how ANU can support you, can be found here.