A situation I would like to talk about is one that has probably affected millions across the UK and happens daily. Last month I nearly fell victim to a scam which could have affected my ability to complete my masters.
What I did?
I was sent a text message which said that my bank account had been used to make an odd purchase and to reply if this transaction wasn’t me, which of course, I did.
Around 2 minutes later I received a phone call from a gentleman who was supposedly working for the ‘fraud’ team at my bank. Alarm bells started ringing in my head as the number was unfamiliar, the tone of voice seemed rushed and I was asking for my personal identification number.
I told the gentleman that I’d call back later using the official bank number off the website, he persisted to tell me he was trying to help me, and I would be liable for any transactions made, even if I didn’t make them! I immediately went to the banks website and rang the team to ask if indeed it was them calling or was it a scam, I was told that they hadn’t called me, and somebody was indeed trying to gain access to my account.
Access to resources?
This situation was highly stressful as under the pretences it’s easy to cave in to the pressure and give the fraudster what they’re after, especially after they insist they’re only helping. But there were many red flags that I would urge people not to ignore, if it doesn’t feel right, more than likely it isn’t!
I would also urge people to step out of the situation and look at it from another perspective and think ‘what would you advise somebody who told you this was happening to them?’. You often think more rationally when placed to give advice. Lastly, I would like to remind everybody that essentially you are in control of the situation, never be afraid to speak up, confront and ask questions. I did this and it saved somebody stealing all my potential tuition fees for my masters!
King’s Student Money Mentor
Part of Money & Housing Advice
Studying Accounting, Accountability & Financial Management MSc (PGT)
Need to speak to a Money Adviser? Call the Student Advice Line.
For more information on scams, take a look at ‘Understanding & Avoiding Scams Part 1: What is a Scam?’, and ‘Understanding & Avoiding Scams Part 2: Known Student Scams’.
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