International students scams and how to avoid them


Covid-19 has brought many challenges in our lives. But for some people it has brought opportunities as well. One of those groups are scammers.

The scam artists are using various techniques to take advantage of various vulnerable people in Australia.

As per ACCC, more than 6100 scams has been reported with more than $8,400,000 lost since the outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

So in this article, we are going to give you a information on some common international students scams in Australia and how to avoid them.

Types of International Students Scams in Australia

Thes are some of the common types of scams that international students could face in Australia:

  • Covid-19 vaccination scams – Some scammers are calling people and asking them to pay money if they want to get the vaccination ahead of other people.
  • Getting a transcript from Australian university – Some people who pretended to be an education agent promise students they can get them an Australian transcript from an Australian university.
  • Offering huge university scholarships – Some pretending agents also get students to pay them in exchange for getting a extra university discounts.
  • Offering amazing discount on accommodation – Similar story like university scholarship, students get offers for unbelievable accommodation rates in exchange of money.
  • Promise to book ticket – While borders remain closed to foreigners, some scammers ask students to pay them to book a flight to Australia.
  • Fake property scams – It does happen on gumtree and some other real estate websites where property shown on the websites either does not exist or look significantly different than advertised.
  • Asking for payment of Taxes – Some group of scammers pretending to be an ATO (Australian Taxation Office) calling people in Australia to pay the taxes to them.
  • Fake jobs offers – Offering jobs to international students after paying for a course or promise to get a job after payment to these scammers.
  • Virtual Kidnapping – Some students from Chinese backgrounds were targeted in this scam where they were asked to kidnap themselves in exchange of ransom from their parents. Pretty bizarre but real scam.

Most of these scammer will try to use threats, make your fearful and then ask you for either money or personal details which can be used for scams by these people.

How to do avoid getting scammed

Calls related scams

If you are getting calls from the scammers, then we suggest you take the following actions:

  • Disconnect the call. Avoid calls if they call back
  • Do not give any personal or sensitive information
  • Check with Scamwatch website. You can check different types of scams going in Australia
  • Check with organisation/business directly by calling them

We also suggest you register your number with Do not call register. Registering your number can help to reduce the number of unsolicited marketing calls from Australian businesses.

Although, please be mindful that scammers can still try to reach out to you as some of them could be based overseas.

Emails related scams

If you are getting emails for

  • Don’t click on hyperlinks in the suspected emails
  • Don’t reply back to these emails
  • Always check the email address of the sender.
  • Contact the business directly via email or call
  • Go to the website through the browser rather than link from a website

Agency related scams

Some pretending agents will lure international students for scams as well. You can avoid them by:

  • Doing a proper research
  • Confirm with at least 2 to 3 other agents in your area
  • Contacting university college directly
  • Contacting Department of Home Affiars
  • Searching on migration agent details on Mara Website

You can lodge a complaint against a migration agent on Mara website

We hope you find this information useful and if this can help someone else avoid getting scammed then please share this article with them.

You can also watch a video on this on our YouTube Channel