Phone scam targets international staff

The university says international staff members are being threatened with deportation in an ongoing phone scam.
By Megan Embry

According to the weekly UG update, telephone scammers are trying to scare international staff into handing over large sums of money. ‘The caller pretends to be from the Ministry of Justice and Security and accuses staff members of not having an Alien Registration Number’, the university warns. Several staff members have been threatened with detention or deportation unless they pay a hefty fine.

In February, the Immigration Service Desk posted a warning on their facebook page after staff members notified them of the scam. In one case, according to news site The Northern Times, a victim was coerced into purchasing 1,600 euros worth of ITunes gift cards before he realised he was being scammed.

Threatened with deportation

This week another employee was targeted on two separate occasions. Both times he was threatened with deportation and urged to pay a large sum of money, says university spokesperson Jorien Bakker. The victim reported the calls to the Immigration Service Desk and also filed a police report.

Bakker advises staff to do the same. If you receive a call, she says, hang up immediately. Notify the Immigration Service Desk. And if you are threatened, file a complaint with the police. ‘This is really awful’, says Bakker. ‘Hopefully it never happens again.’

A representative at the Immigration Service Desk said they will notify the IND of all reported calls, and will also stay in contact with staff and students who are being targeted if further information and instruction is necessary.

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