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Every year, UKVI receives hundreds of applications for Student route visas from individuals who want to study at our University. Whilst this is something we are very proud of, it has sadly come to our attention that international students are being targeted by fraudsters once they reach UK soil. Perpetrators are calling our students, claiming to be from the Home Office and demanding money for non existent visas fee and fines, sometimes in the way of gift cards or iTunes vouchers.
In a bid to warn students against these scammers, UKVI has teamed up with Action Fraud to create guidance which offers key messages and assets that can inform students against fraudulent activity and prevent them from falling for such scams. If you are worried about your immigration status, contact the Student Immigration Compliance Team or Kent Union Advice Centre.
- Legitimate Home Officials will never contact you and ask you to pay visa fees over the phone.
- If you receive an unexpected call from someone who claims to be from the Home Office, it may be a scam.
- Home Office or UKVI officials will never ask you to pay visa fees or fines using iTunes gift cards, cryptocurrency or money transfers services. Never provide numbers on the back of iTunes Gift Cards to someone you don't know.
- Always question unexpected requests for your personal or financial information in case it's a scam. Even if someone knows your basic details, it doesn't mean they are genuine.
- Trusted organisations won't pressure you to make a financial transaction on the spot. If something feels wrong, question it.
- If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to the Student Immigration Compliance team, Kent Union Advice Centre. You should also report this to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040