Western Statement on Scam Targeting International Students
November 23, 2017
Recent media reports, as well as Toronto and Hamilton Police Services, have issued warnings to Chinese students about a kidnapping scam. (A scam is a fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit.)
As far as we know, international students at Western and in London have not been targeted. However, we encourage students to be aware and to notify authorities if you or your friends are contacted.
What you need to know:
- unknown person(s) are contacting Chinese students
- they tell the students to go into hiding or their family in China will be hurt
- they are also telling the students not to use social media or cell phones
- these unknown person(s) then contact the students' families in China
- they tell the family that their son or daughter has been kidnapped
- a demand for a large ransom is made
What to do:
- Be aware of the scam and contact Western Campus Community Police Service at 519 661-3300 if you or someone you know is targeted
- Add police contact information into your mobile phone (non-emergency 519-661-3300, emergency: call 911)
- Keep in regular contact with family members. Set up a consistent timeframe for this contact.
- Travel with others (students/friends/colleagues).
- Let people (roommates/ classmates/ floormates/Residence staff) know where you are going and expected time of return.
Western is aware of other recent scams targeting international students in Canada, including individuals posing as police officers, government officials and other authorities. Western encourages students who may have been the target of scams to do the following:
- Do not provide any personal information or identification, including telephone numbers, family members, credit card information or similar
- Notify Western Campus Community Police at 519-661-3300 and the International and Exchange Student Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-661-2111 ext. 89309
Additional information on financial and other scams is available at the links below: