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Studying in the UK? Please be aware of UK legislation and common scams

By QMResLife 27 Sep 2023

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This post was written by the Advice and Counselling Service at Queen Mary. 

Welcome to all our Chinese students. Thank you for choosing to study at Queen Mary University of London. We are republishing this blog first posted in December 2022 with advice from the Chinese Embassy on how to stay safe from scammers.

Please also see our web page: ‘Protect your money from scams and fraud’ and contact QMUL Security for advice and support.

To all our friends going to the UK to study this year – we wish you the best of luck and are confident that you will have a truly GREAT time.


The UK offers international students an academic experience that is very hard to beat. For Chinese students in particular, it is one of the most popular destinations for studies. In the year to June 2022, 115,056 sponsored study visas were granted to Chinese nationals, accounting for nearly a quarter of the global total.

英国为国际学生提供了无与伦比的学术体验。特别是对于中国学生来说,英国是最受欢迎的留学目的地之一。截至 2022 年 6 月的一年中,中国公民获得了 115,056 份学习签证,占全球总数的近四分之一。

The Chinese Embassy in the UK estimates more than 200,000 Chinese students are currently enrolled at British universities. Chinese students are also the largest cohort of foreign students in Britain, accounting for 1 in 5 full-time places.

据中国驻英国大使馆估计,目前有超过 200,000 名中国学生在英国的大学就读。中国学生也是英国最大的外国学生群 体,占全日制学生总数的五分之一。

The Chinese Embassy has released a warning advising all Chinese students to be on their guard against this criminal activity.

To ensure you have the most rewarding experience, we want to make sure that you are aware of UK laws and regulations and common scams.


UK money laundering legislation


The UK remains one of the safest and most popular places for Chinese students to achieve their potential. However, criminals in the UK are trying to recruit students as Money Mules to help place their proceeds of crime into the UK banking system. This illegal cash is often derived from major crimes like terrorism and drug trafficking. Being a Money Mule is illegal. You could be: dismissed from university; go to prison for up to 14 years; get a criminal record; have your UK bank account closed.

英国仍然是中国学生发掘发挥其潜力的最安全和最受欢迎的地方之一。然而,英国的犯罪分子正试图招募学生作为钱 骡,以帮助他们将其通过犯罪获取的非法所得转移进英国的银行系统。这类非法现金通常来自恐怖主义和贩毒等重大犯 罪。做钱骡是违法的,你可能会:被学校开除学籍;面临最高 14 年的监禁;背上犯罪记录;使自己的银行账户被关 闭。

• NEVER allow anyone else to have control of your bank account, either whilst in the UK or after you have left


• NEVER let anyone else transfer money through your bank account


• NEVER open a bank account in your name on behalf of someone else


• NEVER use your bank account to help strangers transfer money from China to the UK


If you think that someone is trying to recruit you as a Money Mule, please report it to the charity Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555111 (Chinese translation service available upon request).

如果你认为在英国正有人试图招募你成为钱骡,请告诉慈善机构 Crimestoppers 0800 555111 你所知道的(通话将是匿名的,并且 可以应要求提供中文翻译服务)。

Common scams


A small minority of students in the UK are also falling victim to telecom fraud. The most common scam is that a scammer will call you pretending to be from the Police or Prosecutors in China. They will tell you:

在英国,还有少数学生会成为电信诈骗的受害者。在最常见的骗局中骗子会冒充中国警察或检察官给你打电话,并声 称:

• You are under investigation for a crime in China and a warrant has been issued for your arrest.


• You must not tell anyone about the call and not return to University or your home.


• You must go to a hotel and pretend to be tied up and injured.


• You must send a photograph to your parents and ask them for money.


Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.

这些犯罪分子是擅长冒充他人、组织和警察的专家。他们花费大量时间进行调查研究,为你设下骗局,以期你会暂时放 松警惕。

Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before sending any money to someone you don’t know.


Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.


Protect: Contact the UK Police immediately on 999 and do not send any money.

保护自己:立即拨打 999 联系英国警方,不要汇款。

If you think you’ve fallen for a scam report it to ACTION FRAUD by calling 03001232040 or online at: . You can also contact Consular Services at the Chinese Embassy in the UK on: +44-20-74368294.

如果认为自己已经被骗了,你可以通过拨打电话 03001232040 或登录网站 来 告知反诈骗行动机构 ACTION FRAUD。


The UK and China are working together to combat these scams. More information is available on the UK Finance’s website and the Chinese Embassy’s websites:


• Money Mules 钱骡 –

• Guard against “virtual kidnapping” 严防“虚拟绑架”骗局-

• Identify fraudulent calls 辨别诈骗电话小技巧 –

• Telecoms frauds 网络信息诈骗犯罪及应对 –

Reporting scams and fraud and help available at Queen Mary

If your income has already been affected by fraud or a scam, there is a lot of support available which we list below, depending on the reason for your financial loss.

You can contact the Advice and Counselling Service for emotional support or financial advice. It is also helpful to let Queen Mary Security know about your experience so they can build an overview of the types of scams affecting Queen Mary students and target appropriate resources and expertise at monitoring and preventing fraud within the university. 

Any fraud or scam: Action Fraud

Student Finance England scams: email and 

Housing/Accommodation Fraud: Action Fraud and 

Parcel interception scam: Action Fraud 

Gambling or gaming concerns:  YGam, Gamcare,Gordon Moody, and Gamblers’ Anonymous 

Financial abuse concerns: Women’s Aid 

Money mule concerns: independent legal advice from a solicitor or local law centre 

Debt Bondage - owing debts to criminals: Action Fraud 

Loan shark concerns:

Please stay safe and we wish you all the best on your new adventure in the UK and for all your future endeavours!


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