So many things are done online now – from applying to university to banking! It’s important to ensure what you do online is safe and secure.
The key is to be aware, but not alarmed, that certain ‘deals’ should be questioned and you’ll need to protect yourself.
While there are many people out there who are genuinely friendly and also legitimate websites and groups, you still need to be very careful.
There is a good chance you won’t be a victim of fraudulent activity, but just to be safe, here are some things to remember:
If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
– Earn $5000 per week!
– You’ve won a competition! (That you don’t remember entering)
– Receive a 10% discount if you send money now!
– Accommodation in a sought after location with surprisingly low rent compared to other properties (more below)
If you see anything that sounds similar to the above, there’s a strong chance that it is not legitimate (a scam).
– Do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions about money or investments: always get independent financial advice.
– Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam emails), delete them and never reply to a spam email (even to unsubscribe).
– Never send your personal, credit card or online account details through an email.
– Do not agree to transfer money for someone else – money laundering is a criminal offence.
Accommodation is not easy to organise from the other side of the world but it can be done safely.
Use trustworthy sites and accommodation trusted by the university – Facebook groups advertising accommodation are not always a good source.
Look up properties online to see how close they are to university, shops, public transport etc.
When looking for accommodation never give a bond or pre-payment for accommodation without seeing the accommodation in person first.
Find out about terms and conditions – How long is the lease (term of stay)? Who is the landlord? How does your rent compare to other tenants if it is a share house?
Ensure you get a receipt for any payment made and keep a copy of all correspondence.
Help / support
Report a scam to police
Report a scam via scamwatch
If it was a financial scam – contact you bank. They may be able to stop the money or close your account if you have given away your details.
If your credit card has been charged fraudulently then your bank may be able to reverse the transaction.
Speak with your university – your international student advisor can guide you or point you in the right direction.
To keep up to date on current scams and read more on all the types of scams, visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/