Credit Card Scam Targeting International Students

Credit Card Scam Targeting International Students, a massive problem faced by most of them. Higher education institutions have been inundated with credit card scams. This variant of credit card scam was different from others as they were only targeting international students. In this scam, a third party is used to approach students through social media platforms such as WeChat and sometimes in person.  The scammers in this scam offer students an opportunity to secure a favorable currency exchange rate. 

The catch was that the third party would make a credit card payment on behalf of the student. To facilitate this transaction, the student would provide their student account credentials, including their user ID and password, thus granting the third party access to log in as the student and complete the payment. Upon noticing that their account balance had been paid, the student would proceed to transfer the payment amount to the third party, under the assumption that the transaction was legitimate.  However, unbeknownst to the students, the third party was utilizing stolen credit cards to make these payments. Consequently, several weeks would often pass before the fraudulent nature of the payment made by the third party was discovered. By that point, the students who had fallen victim to this scam had already suffered significant financial losses. It is important to note that while employing an "agent" or third party to assist with financial transactions is a common practice in some countries, international students need to be made aware of the potential risks associated with such arrangements.  Acknowledging the severity of this issue, the University of Washington entered into contracts with reputable financial service providers such as Flywire and Western Union, ensuring secure acceptance and processing of payments from overseas.  Furthermore, to avoid scams the Student Fiscal Services webpage of the university also provided clear guidance on the tuition payment methods.

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