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Phone scams: don’t be a victim

24 April 2023

The police are warning international students and staff, particularly those from China, about phone calls from scammers posing as staff from government agencies. If someone calls you claiming to work for a bank or the police in your home country, for example, hang up immediately and call the Dutch police on 112.

How to spot this scam

The scammer will call you and will usually say they are from a government agency in your home country. They will tell you that you have to move your money to another bank account or that you are under criminal investigation. They will tell you to cut off contact with others, for example by turning off your phone and not going home or to university.

They will then tell your parents or other family members that you have disappeared and will ask them to pay a ransom. As not only your family but others too are unable to contact you, they may believe the scammer.

What should you do?

Hang up immediately and call the police on 112. If you need help calling the police, call Leiden University’s 24/7 emergency number: 071-5276666. For more information, contact the Safeguarding Services staff at veiligheidszaken@bb.leidenuniv.nl.

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