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Scammers targeting international students looking for work or house in Australia

Dont be scammed Source: AFP

International students who are desperate to find a house or work while studying at university are being ripped off by thousands of dollars.

International students, particularly the Chinese, are being targeted by scammers in Australia.

International students who are looking forward to renting an apartment or finding a job are being ripped off by thousands of dollars.

These apartments and jobs don’t exist.

Monash detective Senior Constable Chris Duke told the Leader that international students especially the Chinese students are using a website to find “dodgy” apartments in Melbourne CBD or Southbank.

Sen-Constable Duke adds that the modus operandi is that after the student contacts the seller (scammer) for renting an apartment, they are sent a rental agreement.

The rental agreement is signed and rent for a month and bond upfront to a provided account is to be transferred by the student.

The twist here is that the provided account number belongs to another international student.

Sen-Constable Duke says that this student is also being scammed.

“The other person has applied for a ‘dodgy’ job on the same website,” he adds.

This international student is told that they can start work in a couple of weeks.

To transfer salary and other incentives the student has to provide his/her bank details in Australia.

So, the first international student who is looking for a home transfers money into the account of the student looking for work’s account.

Then the so-called ‘employer’ (scammer) contacts the student looking for work and says they had accidentally transferred money in his/her account.

The student is asked to withdraw the transferred amount and transfer it via money transfer to the ‘employer’ (scammers) account.

Sen-Constable Duke says that the international student thinks he or she is “doing the right thing.”

“So they withdraw it in cash and then go to an international money transfer where it goes offshore. They become a money mule,” he adds.

Since September 2016, at least a dozen students living in Monash area have been scammed.

The international students are desperate to find a house and start work as soon as possible while studying at university. This makes them an easy target for scammers. 

Anyone with information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.