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THE UK: Latest News

Students warned of fraudsters posing as UKBA: What to do

Internet scam

Reports have surfaced of international students currently studying in the UK, being contacted by fraudsters, posing as the UK Border Agency.

The University of West London have sent out an email to current students and graduates this week, to notify them of these recent happenings. They warn that ‘fraudsters have sometimes managed to obtain a large amount of information concerning the students in question before they contact them’. In some cases, the families of students have been contacted abroad, which can be obviously worrying.


UKBA's advice

The UKBA issued the following advice in their email:

If you receive an unexpected email, telephone call or letter from someone who claims to be from the UK Border Agency, it may be a scam. We will never contact you to ask for money or your personal details.

You can also report fraud to: (telephone 0300 123 2040)


Our advice

Of course, if at any time you are not 100% sure that you are corresponding with someone working on behalf of the UKBA, we recommend the following:

  • Do not confirm any details until they have explained to you who they are, where they are calling from, and why
  • If you are not satisfied, do not take any action, even if prompted to
  • Ask for the full name and position of the person you are speaking to (if possible, ask from where they are calling specifically, including an extension number or office)
  • Ask them to call you back so you can verify these details
  • If they ask why or continue to pursue you for information, kindly explain to them that you have read about a recent case of fraud and have been advised to take precautions (an authentic representative of the UKBA should appreciate this)
  • Again, do not give personal details such as bank information, social security, further phone numbers, or addresses
  • If you can trace the phone number or it appears on your caller I.D., type it into a search engine like Google, to see if anything suspicious comes up


Keep up with recent education news

Scenarios like these are a great reason to follow official bodies and organisations on social media; this way you can be alerted to such stories quickly. For example, if you followed Hotcourses Abroad on Twitter, you would be one step ahead in finding out breaking news stories, such as the recent abolishment of the UKBA



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About Author

Internet scam

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.