We have become aware of a scam, which seems to be predominantly targeting Chinese students. This has been reported across many countries and is not aimed specifically at BU or the UK. However, we know that there has been some concern raised in our own student community, so we hope the following information is helpful.
The scam typically involves a Chinese student receiving a call from someone claiming to be from the Chinese embassy or another authority. The student is told that they have been implicated in a crime in China or are facing some other threat. Alternatively, the scammers may say that they are from the police from the student’s home country and that they are investigating claims that their identity has been stolen. Neither of these scenarios is real, although the scammers are extremely plausible. Often the fraudsters will contact their victim by mobile phone or WeChat, but could also use email or other methods. They then gather the victim’s personal information and use it to extort money from their family, claiming that the student has been kidnapped.
If you get contacted by anyone making such claims, please do not respond. Instead, call the police (phone 101 or call 999 if you feel in immediate danger) as soon as possible and also let the university know (01202 962222). This ensures that we can provide you with any necessary support, as well as enabling BU to work with the police, if need be.
Please also make your friends, parents and guardians aware and let BU know if you have any concerns in respect of a particular friend or fellow student.
Although the university is closed between 23 December 2022 and 3 January 2023, our out-of-hours team can be reached on 01202 962222 for urgent matters. Our Student Assistance Programme is also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can call them on 0800 028 3766 for wellbeing support or legal advice.