A young man with green headphones using his phone.

Students are 3x more likely to be scammed than any other customer*


With everything that's going on in your world, you're probably used to speeding through everyday tasks - including shopping online.

But it pays to stop and pause before parting with any of your money.

Stay ahead of the scammers

One of the great things about social media and online marketplaces is that anyone can offer an item for sale. Sadly, this also makes it the perfect place for scammers to trick you.

Things to look out for

  • Do you have to pay right away?
    Press pause. Scammers will often pressure you to pay right away, so take a moment and slow things down.
  • Do you have to pay into a bank account?
    Press pause. Remember it's safer to pay by debit or credit card, rather than direct to a stranger's bank account. Scammers prefer this method because it's harder to trace.
  • Is the price too good to be true?
    Press pause. Scammers will often sell high value items for example, clothes, electronics and tickets for low prices - especially if the item is hard to find or sold out elsewhere. If it’s too good to be true, it could be a scam.

Hear what other students think about scams

 

A smiling young woman holding a coffee cup.

“I recently bought a ticket from a scammer, and he wasn’t too pushy, he was actually quite friendly."

Student, 19
 

“...When I think about fraud, I think about big scams.  But to see it's for things like trainers and shoes? That’s something that I buy. It’s not something that I would necessarily associate with a scam.” 

Student, 20
 

“You feel like you’re stupid for being...part of a scam or something.”

Student, 19

Don't become a money mule

Moving money through your account might seem innocent enough, and you might even have mates that have done it, but it can be illegal. If you’re paid to move money from one account to another it’s known as ‘money muling’ – and it’s a form of money laundering.

Here's how it works:

  • Scammers will often reach out on social media. They’ll offer you a job or the chance to make some easy money – and that’s probably really tempting before the student loans kick in. They’ll only mention the moving money part later.
  • Getting involved helps fund crime. More often than not, you’ll be helping scammers to fund crimes including drugs and human trafficking. You might even be helping move money that’s been stolen from your family, friends or fellow students. 
  • Look out for direct messages, comments or even job offers. Be careful on social media like Instagram, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter). Often, they’ll mention they’ve helped other people make money fast.

So, pause and remember: never let anyone move money through your account.

It could cost you more than pounds. You might get kicked out of Uni, or be prosecuted with a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.  It’s just not worth the risk.

See how money muling happens

Other common scams

Scam emails and texts

This is when a scammer sends emails and texts encouraging you to click a link.

This allows them to steal your personal or banking details.

 

Avoid this scam More information on scam messages

Scam calls

This is when a scammer calls and uses your stolen details to try to convince you they’re from a trusted company like your bank or student loan company.

Often, they'll say your account is at risk and tell you to move your money to a different account.

 

Avoid this scam More information on scam calls

Upfront fee scams

This is when a scammer asks you for upfront payments for goods or services.

They might say it’s to access your student loan, to secure a job or even to secure your student housing or a rental property.

They might reach out through social media or post a fake ad.

Avoid this scam More information on upfront fee scams

So what can you do?

Don't get played, press pause and remember:

Never share sensitive details

This includes your passwords, PIN or online banking details.

Check the contact's details

Make sure a company is genuine before paying an upfront fee to get goods or a service.

Don't be too quick to click any links

Check an email address matches the sender’s name and that they greet you by your name.

One last thing. Remember the student loan company, your bank and the police will never call to tell you to move your money to another account.

Want to learn more about avoiding scams?

See the latest scams

* Data based on the average fraud rate for students compared to other Lloyds Bank customers.