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Keeping you safe: freshers fraudsters & scams to avoid

The run-up to Fresher's week is an exciting time, and with so much to organize and so little time before you embark on your university journey it can be overwhelming.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who take advantage of new students who may be unfamiliar with their new surroundings.

 


It has been brought to UPSU’s attention by a number of concerned first-year students that there are many fraudulent Facebook accounts posing as official Plymouth University Freshers pages and events this year which has resulted in them purchasing fraudulent tickets. We believe that the aim of these accounts is to promote nightclubs, sell fraudulent tickets and capture student data.

Please ensure that you double-check that the events that you are purchasing tickets for are official events, if in doubt check upsu.com for all the official information.

All the official freshers' events will be published on the SU run Facebook account and upsu.com.

The accounts that you will be sure to get the right information from are:

 


Scams

A scam is a scheme designed to con you out of your money.  A scam can be via post, telephone, email, text message, website or even a visit to your home. It can be disguised as a lottery win, prize draw, job offer, etc

 

Spot a scam

  • Be suspicious of people that call, write, email or text out of the blue

  • You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about and didn’t buy a ticket.

  • The promise sounds too good to be true - if something sounds too good to be true it probably is

  • You are asked to send money in advance.

  • You are told you have to respond quickly, or you will miss the offer

  • You are told to keep it a secret.

  • Ask for your bank account details. Never give your bank details to people you don’t know, especially people you meet online

  • Give a mobile number or PO Box number as the contact for their company- these are easy to close and difficult to trace.

  • Be suspicious of any banks or government agencies that contact you demanding your details.

  • If you think something might be a scam, don’t reply - then throw it away, delete it or hang up and gather further advice.

  • If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding the message to 7726. It’s free of charge.

 


Next steps

If you think that you have been the victim of a scam, then the Students’ Union Advice Centre can provide you with advice and support, you can also report this to Action Fraud

 

Recent scams

Some criminals have been targeting international students specifically, pretending to be from a legitimate company (such as the UK Home Office, an education agent or UKISA). This scam follows a similar pattern to previous scams:

A student receives a call from someone pretending to be from the Home Office

The incoming number appears to match a genuine Home Office number

The student is told that there is a problem with their visa and that they need to pay a fine and/or give the caller personal information and contact details

Some students are also told that they will be visited by a Home Office official

Please remember that the Home Office will never call an international student to request payments or ask for personal details in this way.

DO NOT make payments or give information to anyone calling you like this.

 


Get in touch with the SU Advice CentreHere