Don't be a victim of a scam. Starting University can mean some big changes like becoming more independent and living away from home for the first time. However some of these changes could increase your risk of becoming a victim of crime....
Don't be a victim of a scam.
Starting University can mean some big changes like becoming more independent and living away from home for the first time. However some of these changes could increase your risk of becoming a victim of crime.
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. This page includes some of the most common scams that target students.
Criminals posing as Chinese police officers or customs officials are contacting Chinese students by phone or text claiming they are under criminal investigation after a parcel addressed to them was stopped in China.
They may send images of fake Police warrant/ID cards, threaten you and your family, or instruct you to download specific apps. You will be instructed not to tell anyone about the ‘investigation’ and to transfer money to a Chinese bank account so it can be checked to make sure it is legal — this money is not returned and often more is demanded.
This scam has left students in very serious financial difficulties. Do not assume people are who they say they are on a phone call or text, especially if they are asking for personal or financial details.
Some students have been contacted on social media and been persuaded to purchase vouchers (Google/Amazon/iTunes) for strangers. This is followed up by a phone call demanding money is transferred and that failure to do so may result in harm to them or a friend.
Bank Account Scam
Scammers phone claiming to be from your bank, stating your accounts are at risk of attack. They advise that you should move your money to a new account they have set up for you. However, you will be moving your money into the scammer’s own bank account.
A bank will never contact you unexpectedly asking for passwords, account details or asking you to move money.
Scammers may phone, email or text claiming to be from a government department such as HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), stating you owe money for unpaid taxes or similar. They may threaten legal action in the hope you will transfer them money.
Alternatively, the scammers may tell you that they are from a government department which owes you money, in the hope of obtaining your bank details.
No government department or legitimate company will ever contact you unexpectedly, threaten you in any way or demand money or bank details.
Be Scam Aware
- Do not click on any attachments or links provided in any unexpected/suspicious emails or text messages.
- No legitimate company or organisation (e.g. Government department, police, bank) will contact you unexpectedly and request personal information, passwords, credit card or bank details. They will never threaten you or pressure you into providing details, making a payment or transferring money. And they will never request payments to be made in vouchers of any kind.
- Be aware that scammers can disguise phone numbers so that they appear correct. Do not assume people are who they say they are! If in doubt, stop contact and use the organisation’s official, secure, website or visit their office/shop.
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What to do if you have been a victim of a scam
- Contact your bank immediately
- Report it to Police Scotland by calling 101 or in person at your local police station. Call 999 in an emergency.