Overseas students and visitors are being targeted by fraudsters pretending to “represent UK or foreign law enforcement,” a warning issued across Lancashire by the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre Action Fraud said.
They are being told there is “evidence in the form of forged documentation or parcels which implicate them in a crime such as money laundering, fraud, or immigration offences,” the alert said.
After demanding personal information, the crooks threaten their victims with arrest “which will result in their deportation and imprisonment” unless cash is handed over.
“Once the money is transferred, all contact between the victim and the fraudster is severed.”
Police would never “demand money in order to cancel an arrest, it added.
If you have made a payment to someone claiming to be the police or government department, and you think you might be a victim of fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using the online fraud reporting tool. You can also get advice about fraud or cyber-crime by calling 0300 123 2040.