This scam works like this.
You are contacted by:
- Someone who says they are an official – (for example from your embassy, or from the police in the country where you are studying). They say that there is evidence that you are involved in a crime, OR
- A postal or courier service who says that a package for you has been seized and the matter must be reported to police. The caller offers to connect you with the ‘police’.
A fake police officer comes on to the call and says that your name is connected to the investigation of a serious criminal offence – for example money laundering.
They may tell you to keep the information secret so that you do not get in to more trouble.
The fake police officer tells you to:
- transfer any money you have in your account to another account that they nominate so that the investigation can continue. The scammer says that the money will be returned within a short time, or
- to transfer ‘bail money’ to an account to avoid being deported to face trial in your home country.
If you transfer the money, the scammers will withdraw it from their account immediately, and possibly also close the account. Your money can’t be recovered.