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Three in four students have been targeted by scams – survey

·3-min read

More than three in four (76%) students say they have been targeted by scams, according to a bank.

Students studying in Exeter, Edinburgh and York are particularly likely to have been targeted – with more than four in five in each of those areas having experienced fraud – the research from NatWest found.

It also indicated that students in Glasgow are the least likely to be targeted by scams, although the numbers are still high, with more than three in five having been subjected to fraud.

In general, delivery scams are common, with people receiving bogus texts advising that an attempt was made to deliver a parcel and there would now be an additional charge.

The texts link to fake websites, purporting to belong to services such as Royal Mail or DHL. Personal information is requested, which will then be used to scam people.

NatWest said tax rebate scams are also targeting students.

More than three in five students said they have been contacted with fake emails, texts or calls claiming they are entitled to a “tax rebate”.

Criminals aim to gather personal details such as a name, date of birth, address and sometimes payment card details.

Scams where criminals pretend to be from banks, offer investments, advertise fake goods on social media or encourage people to become money mules were also among those that students had encountered.

Some had also experienced criminals trying to hack their shopping or entertainment accounts.

The NatWest student living index surveyed more than 2,300 students and the full findings are due to be released later this week.

Andy Nicholson, head of NatWest student accounts, said: “This year’s NatWest student living index reveals a large number of students are being targeted by criminals.

“In raising awareness of these types of scams we hope students can avoid becoming a victim.”

Here are NatWest’s tips for students:

– Try to shop online with websites that you know and trust using your debit or credit card. If you see a deal online that looks too good to be true from a website you have never heard of, it may be a scam. If you have doubts, do not make the purchase.

– If an online seller asks you to send money direct from your bank account to theirs, this could also be a scam.

– Do not give away your personal and bank details easily. Criminals use online competitions or offers of free shopping vouchers as a way of harvesting information from their next victims.

– Social media investment scams will often use fake celebrity endorsements and the promise of “getting rich quick”.

– Be sceptical of unsolicited phone calls, texts or emails asking for personal or bank details. The bank and police will never ask for a full pin or password, card reader codes, or ask you to move money from your account.

– Do not recycle passwords and use a unique password for your bank accounts and your email account.

– Pass scam awareness information onto your family and friends, particularly anyone you think might be vulnerable.

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