‘Be Aware of Scams!’ – National Student Money Week Testimonial

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

So, I got scammed… 

You know that gut feeling you get when something is too good to be true, you should probably listen to that! I had just moved houses and I was looking for a good hoover but all the Dysons and Sharks were way out of budget. I came across this site along the lines of vacuum.com, which sold vacuum cleaners at a discounted price. The website seemed legitimate, looked like any other proper website and it had decent reviews on Trustpilot. They were selling vacuum cleaners at warehouse prices for less than £100, which were being shipped from China. They even had an entire app to track shipping and the whole process was pretty easy. Two weeks later, my package arrived, but it was a small envelope… how could a vacuum cleaner fit in that? I opened it and found a silicone iPhone case that I had spent over £80 on. Of course, naturally, you’d go through a complaints procedure but after contacting the company they didn’t respond. This is when I realised, I got scammed! 

So, what did I do? Thankfully, I purchased the item using my credit card, so I was able to report the scam to my credit card provider. They carried out an investigation and as a result, had refunded me for the ‘hoover’ purchase.  

My tips from this experience: 

  • Think twice about purchasing items that are heavily discounted from a non-reputable company. There may be strings attached; it might be a poor-quality product, or you might not receive anything at all 
  • Do not transfer money from your current account 
  • Do use your credit card as the bank protects you 

Anonymous Author
Studying Psychology BSc (UG)

Need to speak to a Money Adviser? Call the Student Advice Line.

For more insight into scams, take a look at Part 1 and Part 2 of ‘Understanding & Avoiding Scams’!

The King’s Student Money Mentors blog shares our students’ personal experiences and thoughts on money-related topics. Any reference, opinions or recommendations on a particular company/brand are only the views of the student(s) who wrote the blog post. King’s College London, the Money & Housing Advice service and the Money Mentor project do not share the views in the blogs nor endorse any of the companies mentioned. Readers should conduct their own research before using any companies mentioned in our blog posts. 

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‘Housing & Renting Emergencies ‘ – National Student Money Week Testimonial

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Renting is difficult in the best of times, and with the onset of the Pandemic and the government’s restrictions, it’s become even trickier. 

Last summer I was looking to move out in anticipation of starting university in September. With two other friends, I looked for housing in the private sector. Some of the websites I used to look were Spareroom, Zoopla, RightMove and PrimeLocation. When beginning my search, it was important to have a few key considerations in mind.  

Firstly, what is your budget, and remember this must take account of the rent price, utilities, transport and food. Once these are accounted for you must have some disposable income (defined as the money left over after essentials are covered) otherwise you’ll be left struggling at the end of the month. Secondly, location matters. I needed to be close to uni, specifically the central line. Proximity to the right underground station or bus stop is very important. Thirdly, do you need the flat/house to be furnished or unfurnished (preferably the former since it saves you having to move your furniture in or buying anything). Finally, either through a virtual or physical tour, where permitted, make sure to see the property. Images can look different online and some websites may not have images or videos for every property listed. Visiting the flats weren’t always easy to get to and particular places were often disappointing in person.  

In the end, this unexpected development prevented me from moving out. Due to the lockdown, one of my friends could not move to London. Sadly, this meant my other friend and I could not afford to live out with only two of us paying rent. Although we looked for cheaper two-bedroom places these are not necessarily easy to find, especially at short notice. In my situation, I was lucky to be able to live with my parents in London.  

Zwan Mahmod
King’s Student Money Mentor

Part of Money & Housing Advice
Studying Modern History MA (PGT)

Need to speak to a Money Adviser? Call the Student Advice Line.

For more information on private sector housing, take a look at the following video workshops: Beginning your searchViewing a PropertySigning a Contract 2020Moving In!

The King’s Student Money Mentors blog shares our students’ personal experiences and thoughts on money-related topics. Any reference, opinions or recommendations on a particular company/brand are only the views of the student(s) who wrote the blog post. King’s College London, the Money & Housing Advice service and the Money Mentor project do not share the views in the blogs nor endorse any of the companies mentioned. Readers should conduct their own research before using any companies mentioned in our blog posts. 

‘Expect the Unexpected’ – National Student Money Week Testimonial

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Entering university shifted my whole life, it was a complete change, my environment and everything I knew simply disappeared, and I was completely alone for the first time. I remember my induction class, the people around me, the feelings I had, was it happiness or excitement? Or maybe all my feelings combined? During my first week of university, I had to familiarise myself with my new surroundings and getting used to uncertainty is always difficult. 

I did not expect the unexpected and that made my situation worse. A specific case happened during my first week of university. My student loan did not come through neither did I have a laptop or money to pay my monthly rent. It was then the last week of September and I was told that I would not receive any money until at least two or three weeks. I was very desperate and just did not know what to do or expect. 

After a few days of thinking and looking at all my options I stood up and started to create a ‘salvation plan’. I contacted King’s Student Funding, my bank, student finance and every service I could in order to obtain some type of funding. That same day King’s Student Funding department emailed me back and after hours of research, I got a temporary loan in order to pay my rent. The library services told me that I could rent a laptop for 24 hours every day and that saved me! The next day my bank contacted me and told me that I could obtain an overdraft of £1,500!  

At the end, everything turned out well and I was able to pay back my loans and obtain my student funding a few weeks later. I did not plan for the unexpected and that was a huge failure on my side. My first few weeks at university would have been much easier and fun had I planned for the unexpected, from there on I learned to always expect the unexpected, so always have a contingency plan. 

Lisa Maria Martin
King’s Student Money Mentor

Part of Money & Housing Advice
Studying Psychology BSc (UG)

Need to speak to a Money Adviser? Call the Student Advice Line.

The King’s Student Money Mentors blog shares our students’ personal experiences and thoughts on money-related topics. Any reference, opinions or recommendations on a particular company/brand are only the views of the student(s) who wrote the blog post. King’s College London, the Money & Housing Advice service and the Money Mentor project do not share the views in the blogs nor endorse any of the companies mentioned. Readers should conduct their own research before using any companies mentioned in our blog posts.