Student Fraud

Additional Information

  • Money Mules

    Fraud has now become one of the most common crimes in modern times. Students are increasingly targeted as victims of fraud. Despite being carful with their money. The consequences of fraud extend far beyond financial loss. Victims can face depleted savings, jeopardized businesses, eroded trust, and even mental health issues.

    For further insights, you can explore Crooks on Campus.

    A concerning trend in student fraud involves money mules.

    These are individuals, often students themselves, who are tricked or coerced into allowing criminals to use their bank accounts for illicit transactions. Fraudsters exploit the anonymity and ease of access of student accounts to launder stolen funds. This not only exposes the student to potential criminal charges but also makes it harder for the original victim to recover their losses.

    The promise of a share of the stolen money might seem tempting, but students should be aware of the severe consequences of money laundering, which can include hefty fines and even jail time.

    To delve deeper into this issue, visit National Crime Agency – Money Muling.

  • Fraudulent messages - phishing

    Students are a prime target for phishing scams. In order to steal personal and financial information, fraudsters pose as legitimate organizations such as:

    • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
    • Department of Education
    • Student Loans Company
    • Home Office
    • UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI)


    These scams often arrive via email, text message, or even social media, appearing genuine with official logos and urgent messages.

    The bait? Promises of financial aid updates, scholarship opportunities, or warnings about account issues. Students, especially new ones, might be more susceptible due to unfamiliarity with financial processes or a sense of urgency regarding their education funding.

    Once a student clicks a malicious link or opens an attachment, their information could be compromised. This can lead to stolen login credentials, bank account details, or even identity theft. The consequences can be devastating, impacting not just finances but also credit scores and future loan opportunities.

  • How to avoid fraudulent messages

    With student loans, finances are a top priority for many students. Unfortunately, fraudsters are aware of this, making students prime targets for deceptive messages. But fear not, with a few key strategies, you can build a strong defense against student scams:

    Scrutinize Sender and Message:

    • Unfamiliar Source? Be wary of emails, texts, or calls from unknown senders, especially those claiming to be from financial institutions or universities.
    • Greeting and Grammar: Legitimate institutions typically address you by name and maintain professional communication. Look for red flags like generic greetings (“Dear Student”) or grammatical errors.
    • Sense of Urgency? Fraudsters often create a sense of urgency to pressure you into acting quickly without thinking critically. Don’t be rushed.

    Don’t Click or Open Lightly:

    • Phishing Links: Never click on links or open attachments in suspicious messages. These could be gateways to malware or websites designed to steal your information.
    • Verify Directly: If a message claims to be from a specific organization, contact them directly through a verified source like their official website or phone number.

    Protect Your Information:

    • Never Share Personal Details: Legitimate institutions won’t request sensitive information like passwords or account numbers via email or text.
    • Strong Passwords & Two-Factor Authentication: Use unique, strong passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible for an extra layer of security.
    • Regular Account Monitoring: Regularly monitor your bank and financial aid accounts for any unauthorized activity.

    By remaining vigilant, skeptical, and employing these techniques, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to student fraud. Remember, your financial well-being is an investment worth protecting!

  • What to do if you receive suspicious messages

    If you receive any messages you’re unsure about, visit Action Fraud’s website for more information and advice.

  • Payment of tuition fees scams

    There are scams that offer to make tuition fee payments for you. They offer discounts or reduced exchange rates.

    • Guard Your Login! Never share your username or password with anyone – including agents or third parties. You are the sole guardian of your financial information.
    • Trust Your Gut. If something feels fishy, it probably is. Don’t hesitate to walk away from a suspicious transaction and contact the college to ensure the legitamacy of the transaction.
    • Been Targeted? If you suspect a scam attempt, report it to Action Fraud immediately.
  • If you think you have been scammed

    If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to the UK Police immediately.