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Avoiding Fraud

Money mules

Organised Crime Groups use students to open bank accounts for money laundering purposes. These scams are often in the guise of a ‘betting syndicate’. You are offered a fee to carry out an activity on the criminals’ behalf and become a money mule.

Although victims may be unwittingly committing crime, there are consequences:

  • your bank account will be closed
  • you’ll find it hard to access further student loans
  • it’ll be difficult to get a phone contract
  • you’ll have problems applying for credit
  • you could go to prison for up to 14 years

For more information about money mules, please read about the Don’t Be Fooled campaign. If you think you are being targeted, please contact Action Fraud.

Phishing emails

Phishing emails are scam emails pretending to be from a legitimate organisation. They try to access your usernames and passwords, bank account or credit card details, answers to your security questions, or other important identity details such as your national insurance number.

Some common phishing emails pretend to be from:

  • Student Finance England
  • HMRC
  • Apple

The University's IT Service and the Government provide advice about phishing emails.

To make sure you’re not a victim of such emails, you should:

  • work out whether the sender’s email address seems genuine
  • check for spelling or grammar mistakes
  • check how they’ve addressed you; a genuine email wouldn’t use your email username in a greeting
  • decide whether the message is too good to be true; if you haven’t applied for a grant, would you automatically receive one?

If you’ve received such an email, please delete it and don’t click any links.

Find out more

The below organisations have more information: