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Defending Your Finances: Unmasking the Scams

By Newcastle University

In the digital age, and with the increase of new technology like AI, it feels like scams are around every corner.

Whether you're a new or seasoned student with us at Newcastle University, mastering your money should be a top priority. Here are some scams we've witnessed, to keep you one step ahead.

1. Jobs Too Good to Be True

Beware of those too-good-to-be-true job offers, often found on public websites like Gumtree. Students have unwittingly become pawns in money laundering schemes, acting as 'Money Mules' without their knowledge. Investigate job offers thoroughly and consult Careers Services if in doubt.

2. Student Finance Messages

Fraudsters don't discriminate. They may pose as Student Finance, sending convincing emails with urgent calls to action. Ignore these phishing attempts. If unsure, log in to your account directly (without clicking any links!) to verify the message's legitimacy.

3. Bogus Phone Calls

The infamous HMRC phone call scam is widespread. Fraudsters may intimidate you with threats of tax debts and police involvement. Hang up immediately. For peace of mind, call the official helpline yourself. If you've shared details, report the case to Action Fraud.

4. Accommodation Contracts

Similar to job scams, accommodation scams entice with bargain rents and perfect locations. Stick to reputable estate agents, and never make payments until you're certain the accommodation is legitimate.

5. Tuition Fees and University Debt

International students, beware of calls demanding hefty fees to avoid expulsion. Never share details over the phone, even if they claim to be from the University. Hang up and contact Student Services if in doubt.

Stay vigilant: Awareness is your armour against financial predators. If you’re ever unsure and need support then contact the Student Financial Support Team.


It's National Student Money Week (4 to 8 March 2024) and this year's theme isLess Risk, More Reward: Maintaining your Financial Wellbeing at University’.

Your Student Financial Support team have compiled a selection of resources and advice to support you, particularly to help you be vigilant of scams and fraud.