Staying Safe

Top tips to protect yourself against scams

Avoid falling victim to con artists and scammers by following this advice.

A scam is an illegal plan for making money, often by deceiving someone to gain their personal data or money. Scams can try to reach you in a number of different ways such as:

  • Emails
  • Post
  • Phone calls
  • Text messages
  • Face to face
  • Online

Many scammers may try to target students due to their limited experience of dealing with money and other responsibilities that come with newfound independence such as organising accommodation. Scammers also know that students may be more likely to take note of good deals or be from abroad. 

Examples of scams

Some scams you might come into contact with could include:

  • Phishing emails may ask you to confirm or log in to a website with your details and can often appear to be from your bank.
  • Fake accommodation rentals may ask you to send money for rent payment and deposits but when it is time to move in the landlord can’t be found.
  • Fake prize draws trick you into calling expensive premium-rate phone numbers.
  • Online scams can con you out of money by using fake websites and getting into your computer.
  • Fake job adverts can be used to collect your information or ask you to pay for fake police checks, admin fees or training.

Top tips to avoid being scammed

Here are some of the best ways to avoid being scammed:

Be secure online - use different passwords, don’t open strange looking attachments from people you don’t know and install antivirus software on your computer.

Check the source of the information - if the email address isn’t how a company have emailed you before it may be a phishing email. Your bank and Student Finance will never ask for your PIN number or password.

Accommodation - See accommodation up front and do research on the landlord or letting agent to ensure they are legitimate before you pay anything for a deposit.

International students - If you are from abroad and receive a call about your immigration status or asking you to pay a fine or send a payment, even if they have details about you such as your passport number and threaten cancellation of your visa, do not give out any personal information or send any money. Contact your International Student Adviser.

Charity - If you are contacted to donate money to a charity, make sure it is registered and authentic with the Charity Commission. You should also check the collection is authorised by contacting the charity or looking them up.

Does something seem too good to be true? It probably is. Don’t hand over any details without checking something is genuine.

You can find more tips for staying safe online on MyPort and more advice on protection from scams on the Citizens Advice website. The Students’ Union also have webpage on how to keep safe.

Like this article? Share it!

You may also like...