Money Scams, Tricks and Frauds

Salford is generally a safe place to study but students at any university need to be vigilant about being targeted by fraudsters. Unfortunately, some criminals may attempt to target you for purposes of Money Fraud.

Tips:

  • Never share your bank account or debit/credit card details with anyone unless you know and can trust them.  
  • Never email your credit or debit card details to anyone, even the University.  
  • Be wary of offers of easy money. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.  
  • Be observant for communications like ads and emails with bad spelling and grammar.  
  • Don’t allow someone that you do not know or trust to transfer money through your bank account.
  • If you receive suspicious texts, do not reply or click any links. 

If someone contacts you and it seems unusual or unexpected, then contact the University and we will offer you some advice. If the person who contacted you is genuine then they won’t mind you checking and then getting back to them.

Below are some of the known money scams, tricks and frauds that we are aware of and advice on how to safely pay your tuition fees.

Money Mule

You may be asked to receive some money into your bank account and transfer to another account, keeping some for yourself. Don’t be fooled by quick cash offers. Be very wary of anyone, including someone you know, who asks you to do this.

This may be a fraud called ‘Money Laundering’ and is used to fund serious criminal activities. Money Laundering is a criminal offence and may land you in serious trouble with the Police, affect your credit rating and result in your bank accounts being frozen.

Read about this scam on the Money Mule website

Purchasing currency via non-regulated markets

We have a responsibility to make you aware, that by purchasing currency via non-regulated markets you are opening yourself up to a risk of being perceived by UK authorities to be engaging in a form of money laundering.

UK Finance video

Third Party Tuition Payer Scam

This is a scam that affects mainly students from the Chinese and Indian community, however it has also impacted other students. Students are targeted by fraudsters who offer to go online and pay your tuition fees at a discounted exchange rate, sometimes up to 20%.

The fraudsters may contact you via 'friends of friends', WeChat or even on the streets in cities’ such as Chinatowns and offer these discounted ‘exchange’ rates if you agree immediately.

You will be asked to pay money to the fraudster, who will then pay the University. Sometimes the fraudster even pays the University before you pay them, they then show you the email receipt to prove its paid. This is a method used to lure you into the scam by giving you confidence that the fee is paid.

The fraudsters are in fact using compromised (stolen) debit/credit card details to pay your fees to the University. These payments are then reported as fraudulent by the genuine card holder and recalled by the bank, meaning the money is taken back from the University leaving you in debt with your tuition fees and out of pocket.

Never agree to pay your fees in this way. To be safe you must always pay your fees as directed below.

Further information can be found in the following leaflets:

Safe ways to Pay your fees

All students are advised to pay online on the university payments page directly themselves or by international bank transfer using Flywire. You can find further information on the University Tuition fees pages.

Further fraud information can be found at both: UKCISA for money fraud and UKGOV for Visa Frauds.

Student Loan Company Fraud

Fraudsters have been sending phishing emails to students posing as the Student Loans Company (SLC) asking for personal information.

The SLC will never ask you to confirm your login and password or ask for bank details or personal information by email.

Recent targeted scams 

Recently there have been reports of Chinese students being coerced into believing that they have contravened China's censorship, or committed a crime. The scammer in some cases has pretended to be a Chinese Policeman or from organisations such as The NCA (National Crime Agency).
 
The initial scam may start out from a telephone call regarding a parcel stating from DHL or a Fake Royal Mail's with the following number quoted Tel: 0843 586 3924. Then the fraudster uses aggressive tactics convincing the victim that they have contravened China's censorship, or committed a crime and then asks them to ask their family members to send them money, sometimes vast amounts.

Further information, including how to report the scam can be found in the leaflet below:

Frauds relating to the invasion of Ukraine

Please be aware that we are currently seeing some increased cyber security incidents and phishing activity relating the situation in Ukraine. We’d like to remind everyone to be vigilant.  

It is common for hackers to use the latest news story to trick you into opening their messages and clicking on links or opening attachments. We have seen an increase in phishing through email, SMS, and social media related to the situation in Ukraine. These can be messages asking for you to contribute to aid funds, sign petitions, or read the latest news. If you receive an email, text, or social media post with an attachment or asking you to click on a link that has no relevance to you and/or you don’t recognise the sender, please do not open the attachment or follow any links. 

If you receive any messages of this nature to your University email, please click the ‘Report Message’ button in Outlook. By clicking the 'Report Message' button, the email will be safely deleted from your mailbox, and IT will be informed.