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Student using phone

Protect yourself from scams

Read on for advice on how to identify and report potential scams

advice
BCUSU Advice Team

Unfortunately, students are often targeted by a variety of scams, so it's important to be aware and protect yourself. Here's some information on common scams and tips to avoid them:

1. Never share personal or financial information with anyone you don't know and trust.

Be cautious of friend requests or messages from strangers offering money, prizes, or romantic relationships. They may be trying to steal your information or money.

2. Don't click on links in suspicious messages. Hover over the email address to preview and check it with URLVoid

Phishing emails and messages can appear to be from legitimate companies but contain links that steal your personal information when clicked. Be wary of unexpected emails or texts, even if they seem official.

3. Report any scams to Action Fraud 

Fake job offers may ask for upfront payments or personal information before disappearing. Only apply for jobs through reputable job sites and never pay for a job. Check Google for customer reviews on every employer vacancy you're interested in.

Action Fraud is a national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. Report crimes online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

4. Be suspicious of unsolicited offers, especially those promising easy money or fast fixes.

Housing scammers advertise attractive flats or rooms online, collect deposits, and then disappear with your money, leaving you without accommodation. It is safer to deal with reputable agencies rather than directly with landlords. Check Google for customer reviews on every listing you see.

Investment scammers offer promising high returns at low risk. Do thorough research and avoid investing based on pressure or emotional appeals.

5. Verify the legitimacy of organisations and individuals before responding to emails, texts, or calls.

Scammers may impersonate officials from organizations like HMRC, the Home Office, your bank, or even your university. They may claim there's a problem with your account, visa, or fees and demand immediate payment, often through unusual methods like gift cards or money transfers.

If you're unsure about an email or call, contact the organisation directly through their official website or phone number.

Other useful links:

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stay informed, be cautious, and don't hesitate to report any suspicious activity. Contact BCUSU's Advice Team if you're unsure. 

Contact Advice Team

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