The university students who are living away from home and have no experience in handling finances, as they haven’t managed their own bills before, are a perfect scammer’s target. Here are some tips on how to avoid scams, which vary greatly and have been worked for decades, what you should beware of and the ways to avoid scams:
1. Fake emails
You may get a so-called classic scam email from the Student Loans Company suggesting some troubles with your account with the words that it has been suspended. That is what usually scammers do to spread panic and force you to email back your bank details urgently in order to get your loan payments. After receiving an email like this, just stay calm and take your time to investigate it properly if you doubt it’s legitimate. Personal or financial information by email can be asked only by scammers, you should ignore it with confidence, even if it looks convincing enough. Besides, if you feel suspicious, you can always double-check the needed information on the Loans Company website.
2. Phony landlords
A perfect target for these guys are the overseas students, who have to find accommodation and aren’t able to view their future property. It can be an advert for even a non-existent apartment or house, and when the student sends the required deposit money, he/she is left with no money and nowhere to stay. Ensure yourself from such kinds of scams by renting only through letting agencies and reputable landlords.
You mustn’t believe a word they say if they don’t talk to you in person. A more heartbreaking scam aimed at students looks like this. You may get talk to somebody on a student forum or on social media; they are definitely attractive on their profile photo and so sympathetic to your worries. Then you make friends with them or even start a romantic relationship but only in the virtual life, as they always explain the valid reasons why you can’t meet in real life. Then suddenly they say they are in financial troubles, and of course, you could send them some money. Be aware of such online friends, as scammers know very well whom to choose in such cases.
4. Fake bursaries and grants
‘Too good to be true’ it’s called – if you find out from the email suggested being from your university that you’ve qualified for a bursary or a grant that you even didn’t apply for. Then you are asked about your bank details in order to pay the bursary or grant into your account. You might have some official emails from your university; you can just compare the email addresses and see whether they match.
5. Fake jobs
You may find an advert for a job, which sounds great, but it may be one of that fake job scams aimed at students. Of course, you apply, spend lots of time on your CV and covering letter, but then it turns out that the employer doesn’t even want to interview you, they want you to start the job immediately! The only thing to do before you start is paying an administration fee. To start immediately in a company, about which you’ve never heard, without even an interview, and the employer wants only administration fee at first. It MUST be suspicious!