Scams

Being scammed is stressful and it could have a big impact on your student budget. Remember that a scam is a criminal offence so it’s really important to report anything you think is a scam even if you don’t personally fall victim. While there are many different scamming methods and ploys, there are a few tell-tale signs that someone is trying to target you. Follow our advice to make sure you’re protected.

Cyber Crime

The internet plays a big part in student life. So whether you’re conducting research for your studies, buying course books, or keeping in touch with friends, make sure you stay cyber-safe.

  • Use secure computers with updated security software.
  • Only shop on trusted and reputable sites; look for the padlock symbol.
  • Keep log-in details and passwords private.
  • Never publish personal details such as your name and address online – and don’t give them out to people you haven’t met in real life.
  • Keep all your records of online transactions.

If criminals find out your personal details, they may be able to use them to open bank accounts or get credit cards, loans and state benefits in your name. Criminals may also attempt to obtain documents in your name, such as a driving licence or passport. 

Identity Theft

Information that is helpful to criminals includes your name, date of birth, address, National Insurance (NI) number and bank and credit card details.

  • Dispose of documents that contain personal details. Use a shredder.
  • Report a lost passport, driving license or credit card to the issuer immediately.
  • If you move house, tell all organisations with which you do business. The Royal Mail’s redirection service can ensure that your post arrives at your new address.
  • If you use the internet, always use a different password for each account. Follow the advice on Securing Your Account and Password page.

For more information about identity theft, visit www.identitytheft.org.uk and www.getsafeonline.org.