Note: A number of safety precautions and policies have been put into place due to COVID-19. Please visit the Health & Safety page on Western's COVID-19 website for details.
Safety of our students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance to Western. We have a number of services and supports available to help you stay safe while you are here. In addition, we've provided tips below specifically for international students.
In an emergency, you can call 911 from your phone or any campus phone.
Unfortunately, there has been a recent increase in scams targeting International Students. A scam is a fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit, to collect your money and/or personal information. It can come through email, text, by phone, or sometimes in person
Examples of recent scams include:
- An individual posing as a student, approaching students in person and asking for help because their accounts have been locked (or another excuse)
- Individuals posing as government officials such as Canada Revenue Agency, Immigration, their home embassy, police officers, and other agencies. These individuals will usually use threatening language.
- Claiming that you have won a prize or lottery
- Claiming that a family member is in trouble and requests payment in cash or bitcoin
- Requesting money transfer or payment in bitcoin
- Claiming that your account will be closed if you do not update your information or transfer funds.
- Contact International and Exchange Student Centre staff for support if you are unsure or if you think you have been a victim of a scam
Scam and phishing attempts usually contain the following elements: a sense of immediacy and warnings that a negative action will occur if you do not provide what the scammers are asking for.
As a reminder:
- Do not provide any personal information or identification, including telephone numbers, names of family members, credit card information or similar
- Use strong passwords for your accounts, and do not share them with others!
- Add Campus 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
Resources and More Information:
- The Little Black Book of Scams (Competition Bureau Canada)
- London Police Fraud & Identity Theft information
- Steps to take if you have been a victim of a scam
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Security while Studying
Do not leave personal property unattended. Purses, backpacks, laptops, cell phones, iPods, etc. can be easily and quickly stolen from your study space at the library or in any other public space.
Free USC Late Night Exam Shuttle Service
During the December and April exam period the University Students’ Council provides students with a late night Shuttle Service. If you plan to study late at Weldon or Taylor Libraries the Shuttle Buses depart from the Natural Science Building and from Oxford Drive (in front of the UCC Building). For complete details please visit the University Students’ Council website or contact the USC at 519-661-3722.
Please visit exam shuttle service website for more information.
Safety in Residence
Always keep your door locked whenever you leave your room. Put your valuables out of view.
Security at Campus Recreation
Remember to lock your belongings in a locker with a good quality lock.You can bring your own lock and use a day-use locker or you can rent a lock and/or locker from Campus Rec.
Campus Shuttle Buses
Use Campus Shuttle Buses to get across campus safely. Please visit the King's University College website for more information.
Get escorted safely across campus at night by student volunteers. Visit Foot Patrol for more on their services.
For more information on Campus Safety, visit the Community Campus Police Service website
When Walking Alone
Be alert and take notice of people walking in your general vicinity. Do not text message or read when walking because you will be distracted from your surroundings. In addition, if you are wearing headphones or ear buds it is more difficult to hear a car or someone approaching you. At night, avoid walking alone. Walk on well-lit streets where more people will be walking. You don’t have to give money to strangers asking you for “change”. If you choose to give a little money, avoid opening your wallet in front of them and consider keeping coins in your pocket for this purpose.
Security at Home
Always lock your doors and windows whether you are in your home or not. Avoid telling people on social media or leaving notes on your door stating that you are not home. Meeting your neighbours is important so that you know you can ask them for help if you need to use their phone in an emergency or ask them to call 911. Keep your passport in a safe place or at the bank in a safety deposit box. Carry a photocopy of your passport, this will be helpful in case it is ever lost or stolen. If someone you do not know knocks on your door, you do not have to open the door. It is common for people to knock on your door to ask for money for certain charities or to ask you to complete a survey. You are not obligated to open the door or agree to their requests.
On October 31st each year many Canadians celebrate Halloween. On that night children knock on doors dressed in costumes and say “trick or treat”. Most people will then give them candy. People will turn on their exterior lights if they want to distribute candy to the children.
Security while Shopping
Avoid showing that you are carrying a lot of cash. If you like to carry cash ensure it is not visible when you take out your wallet or change purse to pay for something. When using your debit or credit card avoid letting people see you enter your PIN and never share your PIN with anyone. Ensure your debit or credit card is returned to you after every transaction is completed. When at an ATM machine be aware of who is around and do not enter your PIN if you do not feel safe. If your money or card does not come out of the machine, phone the bank right away. Some thieves will tamper with a machine so that when you walk away they can grab your card or the cash you just tried to withdraw.
Buses – London Transit Commission (LTC)
When getting on or off the bus please use the hand rails (especially if the bus is moving). At night you can request a “Courtesy Stop” from the bus driver. The bus driver will then do their best to stop closer to your destination if the route allows them to do so safely. If you are ever in an unsafe situation you can get onto a bus, LTC can contact the police through their radio dispatch. When traveling, asking for directions from strangers can indicate to them that you are not familiar with your surroundings and this can pose a safety risk. If you need directions ask a bus driver or store employee.
Night Life Safety
Do not accept alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages from strangers and never leave your drink unattended. If you plan to consume alcohol while you are out it is best to go with people who you know well and trust. It is illegal to drink liquor in public places such as in a park or when walking down the street. Alcohol can only be consumed in an establishment or at an event that has a license to serve alcohol and in your home if you are of legal drinking age (19 in Canada). Possession of drugs such as cocaine, opioids and ecstasy is illegal in Canada. Taxis are considered a safe way to get home. If you own a car, never drive after you have consumed alcohol or cannabis (marijuana). Driving while impaired can result in large fines, tickets, the suspension of your licence, and/or an arrest with jail time. Do not let strangers you have recently met drive you home.
The Mustang Express is a late night shuttle service created by the USC to provide students with safe transportation home from Downtown after the LTC buses have stopped operating. All full-time and part-time Undergraduate UWO students are eligible to use this shuttle service.
Please visit Mustang Express website for more information.