Staying vigilant to fraud and scams

Students are being advised to be aware of increasing numbers of phone scams targeting them. These scams are often very convincing and can catch you off-guard. Below are some useful tips on how to recognise scams and keep yourself safe.

Take Five

Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations. Find out more on how to protect yourself on their dedicated website. 

Mobile phone scams to be aware of

There are a range of ways criminals can try to scam you via your mobile phone. Some common ways to look out for are:

  • ‘SMiSHing’ (SMS phishing) is when a scammer sends texts asking for sensitive information like your personal or financial details. These often look like they’re from a legitimate company – don’t reply, delete the message instead.
  • Callers claiming to be from UK Government bodies, for example HMRC telling you that you must pay an outstanding tax bill.
  • Scams offering compensation for an accident (real or not) that you’ve had. Again, don’t reply to these, not even if the text asks you to reply ‘STOP’ to opt-out of further messages. Just delete the message.
  • Don’t share personal and private information when using public WiFi – this is an easy way for criminals to access your details. Be aware of your surroundings and of who’s around you when using a mobile device to go online in public.

What to do if you’re concerned

If you or someone you know has been approached with these types of calls or messages, stop all contact and ask for advice from someone you trust. Criminals operate in silence – by talking about it, you are protecting others.

Report it by calling local Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Contact the independent charity CrimeStoppers anonymously online or by calling 0800 555 111.

International Advice and Guidance (IAG) have put together some detailed information on safety and security including important contact details and videos on keeping safe whilst in the UK. Please take the time to look over this information on their website here. If you need any additional support please contact International Advice and Guidance and don’t forget to visit our website for more general information on keeping safe whilst in the UK.

Find out more

Visit Merseyside Police’s website  or watch Scam Stories on the BBC iPlayer.