A scam is a scheme designed to con you out of your money. A scam can be via post, telephone, email, text message, website or even a visit to your home. It can be disguised as a lottery win, prize draw, job offer, etc
How to spot a possible scam:
- Be suspicious of people that call, write, email or text out of the blue
- you’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about and didn’t buy a ticket
- the promise sounds too good to be true - if something sounds too good to be true it probably is
- you are asked to send money in advance
- you are told you have to respond quickly or you will miss the offer
- you are told to keep it a secret.
- ask for your bank account details. Never give your bank details to people you don’t know, especially people you meet online
- give a mobile number or PO Box number as the contact for their company- these are easy to close and difficult to trace.
- be suspicious of any banks or government agencies that contact you demanding your details
If you think something might be a scam, don’t reply - then throw it away, delete it or hang up and get further advice.
If you think that you have been the victim of a scam, then the Students’ Union Advice Centre can provide you with advice and support. If you think you've been a victim of a scam, you can report this to Action Fraud
Some criminals have been targeting international students specifically, pretending to be from a legitimate company (such as the UK Home Office, and education agent or UKISA). This scam follows a similar pattern to previous scams:
- A student receives a call from someone pretending to be from the Home Office
- The incoming number appears to match a genuine Home Office number
- The student is told that there is a problem with their visa and that they need to pay a fine and/or give the caller personal information and contact details
- Some students are also told that they will be visited by a Home Office official
Please remember that the Home Office will never call an international student to request payments or ask for personal details in this way. DO NOT make payments or give information to anyone calling you like this.