August 21, 2019, by Ryan Neal

Keep your money safe

We hope you’re looking forward to joining us at the University of Nottingham in September. As you prepare to make the move to your new home, it’s important to be aware of some crucial security advice. 

Nottingham is generally a safe place to live and study, but the University has been made aware of a number of fraudulent scams taking place nationwide. These scams have been aimed at international students, but all students should exercise caution around suspicious emails or phone calls. 

These scams usually begin with a phone call from a British or Chinese number claiming to be with the Police or the embassy of the victim’s home country. The caller then informs the victim that their bank account has been involved in illegal activity and asks them to: 

  1. Provide their bank account details for investigation 
  1. Transfer their money into a ‘holding’ account for safe keeping 

This is a scam and you should not comply with either request. 

A similar scam involves callers claiming to be a border official from the UK Home Office, and telling students that they must pay a ‘fine’ for breaching immigration regulations in some way.

The Police, the Home Office or an embassy will not ask you to transfer them money, and they would certainly not ask for your bank account details over the phone – the Home Office does not charge fines to visa holders. Anyone doing so and claiming to be from these organisation is certainly not.

Never share your bank details with someone you do not know, and never transfer your money into an unknown account. 

Here’s some advice on avoiding becoming a victim of telephone scams: 

  • Don’t give your phone number out to people you don’t know and be careful when joining WhatsApp groups – this is an easy way for people to get your telephone number 
  • Beware of phone calls from numbers you don’t recognise – even if they’re from your home country and even if the caller seems to know information about you such as your name and contact details
  • Never give any personal details out – including bank details – to someone you don’t know, whether over the phone, via email, on social media or in person 
  • The account numbers on your bank card can be used to make purchases, even if your bank card isn’t present at the time of purchase – never share the numbers printed on your card
  • If you receive any phone calls that you suspect to be fraudulent, report them to Action Fraud on 0300 123 3040 or via the Action Fraud website 

More advice can be found on the Financial Fraud Action UK website 

Please note that scams can take many different formats, and the above is just one example of these. All students should remain vigilant for suspicious activity. Visit our website for advice about avoiding phishing emails. 

If you are unfortunate enough to become a victim of fraud, you should report it to the Police by dialing 101. You should also contact your bank immediately so that they can freeze your account. Finally, you should alert Student Services, so that we can support you. 

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