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Fraud Awareness

Students are a huge target for fraudsters. You need to be aware of threats and vigilant with your money. Read further to protect yourself against spam emails or being recruited as a Money Mule.

Money Mules

Organised Crime Groups are using students to open bank accounts for money laundering purposes. These scams can often be in the guise of a ‘betting syndicate’. Students are offered a fee to carry out an activity on 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 another organisation with sole intention of trying 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 and Apple. See the Student Loans Company phishing guide (PDF:27.2KB) for advice about how to spot phishing emails. The University's IT Service and the government also provide advice about phishing emails.

Newcastle University students have recently been targeted by a Keele.ac.uk email address. This email stated students were guaranteed a grant but was a spam email. 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 you 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.

More Information

The below organisations have more information: