A scam is a scheme that seeks to gain money or your personal data from you. There are scam emails, mail, phone calls, text messages and sometimes people approach you face-to-face.
Students are targeted by scammers as they know students look for the best deals, may have limited experience of renting in the private sector or employment, or maybe from overseas. Scammers know how student finance works and the visa requirements for international students.
Examples of scams:
- Phishing emails that ask you to update, validate or confirm your details: Students have in the past received emails from people claiming to be Student Finance or IT Services. You may also get them from what appears to be your bank.
- Fake accommodation: Students looking for accommodation via the internet and not viewing the accommodation but handing over deposits and rent payments. When it’s time to meet the landlord at the property to move in those living in the house have no idea what the student is on about and the scam landlord never appears and can’t be contacted.
- Online dating: you meet someone online and they start asking for financial help such as they want to come and see you but can’t afford the flight or they have been robbed and need help.
- Work from home schemes: you see an advert offering great money for relatively limited amounts of work which you can do in the comfort of your own home. You enquire about the opportunity and are asked to pay a fee upfront.
- You have won the lottery or a prize draw but can’t recall buying a ticket. You enquire about it and are asked to send money to process the claim or cover administration costs or taxes.
To avoid being scammed:
- If you think it feels too good to be true then it probably is
- Don’t give out your personal information to anyone claiming to be someone they are not – check people’s credentials and the source of emails/mail. Your bank or Student Finance will never ask you to confirm your account details because they know them already
- Don’t hand over any money to anyone until you are confident they are legitimate
- Always view accommodation before handing over money and ideally take someone with you
- Don’t respond to things you think could be a scam, if you are unsure if it is a scam come to SUBU Advice for help
Click here for more examples of scams, how to avoid being scammed and how to report a scam.
If you have lost money as a result of a scam you ca report the scam to Action Fraud.
Telephone: 0300 123 2040
Textphone: 0300 123 2050
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
You can also report a scam to Trading Standards.
If you have handed cash over it may be unlikely that you will ever get this money back. However, if you have bought something online, by phone or mail order you have a 14 day cooling off period in which you can cancel the contract. If you think you have been scammed, and you are unsure of what to do, contact us to discuss what has happened.
Don't let the scammers get away with it, report it!