Social Media and Online Scams
Online forums and social media sites are great for keeping in touch with friends and family but be careful about what information you put online and who you allow to see it.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from online Crime:
- Don’t accept friend requests or invitations from people you don’t know – you could be making yourself and your friends more vulnerable to scammers.
- If something seems unusual or dodgy, ‘ask is this for real?’ – get a second opinion from a friend, staff member or family member.
Fee Scams—never pay tuition fees to a third party
There have been several reports of a fee scam targeting at University students in Australia. The scam involves a company found online who provides a fee discount.
The scams involve asking Students to pay their fees to the third party. Following this payment, the student receives receipts of fee payment made by credit card – presumably stolen. The credit card holder then disputes the payment, and the payment is reversed. The student has a debt from the fee department at University as no payment has been received by the University.
To be safe with your money, remember:
- La Trobe University does not require or ask you for your bank account information – including your account number or BSB (never give your account number or BSB number to anyone you don’t know over email).
- La Trobe University does not provide fee discounts to any third party so please pay the fees directly with the university online or in person at ASK La Trobe.
- Check any documents to make sure personal information is not included before giving them out to people online.
- If you suspect an email is fake or spam, delete it without opening it.
- Keep anti-virus and anti-spam software up-to-date.
- Don’t click on links in emails – use your bookmarks to visit your bank’s website or type the address into your browser.
- Check your bank and credit card account statements regularly.
- If you think you may have provided financial information like credit card numbers to a phisher, contact your financial institution or Credit Card Company immediately.
- Banks in Australia do not send emails requesting you to confirm, update or disclose your confidential banking information
If you think you’ve been scammed, don’t feel embarrassed or helpless – ask for help and protect yourself from further harm.
If you have been a victim of a crime (such as fraud), report it to your local police. If you need immediate support, ring emergency on 000.
You can also connect with university services:
Contact Speak up, whenever you have safety or wellbeing concern for yourself or someone else, and you want confidential and free advice about what to do. Ring 03 9479 8988 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Submit the online reporting form (you have the option to remain anonymous)
International Student Services
Throughout your time at La Trobe, you’re always welcome to seek advice, information and support from the International Student Services (ISS) team. We can help you with academic, social, financial, cultural, and pretty much any issue you encounter. It’s important to seek help early if you experience any difficulties. Call us on (03) 9479 1199 or Ask a Question online.
24-hour student support hotline.
If you need help after-hours (at night, during public holidays or on the weekends) call 24-hour student support hotline 1800 758 360 (+61 2 8905 0307 from outside Australia) – we want to help you with anything you might be worried about.