Fraud

Fraud is increasing nationally, and sadly students are popular targets for fraudsters.

 

Common methods & staying safe

Here are come common types of fraud and what you can do to decrease your chances of being targeted.
 

TICKET FRAUD

Dodgy (e.g. fake) tickets for festivals, gigs & fake Freshers events.

Protect yourself:

  • Buy directly from official retailers / websites.
  • If anyping online, check for the https:// prefix & padlock symbol before entering payment info.

 

CARD CLONING / SKIMMING

Copying card details, sometimes using device attached to cash machine (has been known to happen in Headingley).

Protect yourself:

  • Keep you card details confidential & don’t save them in websites.
  • Cash machine safety. Before using a cash machine, check for any detatchable fixtures, e.g. around the card slot or anything that could be a hidden camera. Always shield your PIN and check for anyone standing too close / looking at your PIN.

     

PHISHING E-MAILS

E-mails trying to trick you into giving personal info. Common ones pretend to be from Student Finance or itunes.

Protect yourself:

  • Don’t click on links or open attachments. Always go to your browser & type in the real website yourself if you need to log in.
  • Genuine e-mails won’t ask for payment (or other sensitive) details or login information. Don’t reply – just delete!

 

ID THEFT / BIN DIPPING

Every year, especially approaching the summer, people go round the students areas (particularly Headingley) rummaging through bins, often looking for personal documents to use / sell on for fraudulent purposes.

Protect yourself:

  • Shred any documents with personal info (e.g. bank statements, Student Finance documents, P45s).
  • Limit what info you make publicly available online.

 

COMPUTER VIRUS / MALWARE / HACKING

There are a variety of techniques of accessing or controlling someone else’s computer.

Protect yourself:

  • Don’t trust out-of-the blue e-mails / phone calls / texts claiming to be genuine anti-virus company or similar needing access to your computer; and don’t give any payment details in return for unlocking your computer.
  • Treat your computer as you would your home – get good security! Get good-quality anti-virus software & update IT regularly.

 

DATING FRAUD

This is when a fraudster meets and develops a romantic relationship with someone online in order to get them to send money (e.g. asking for money to pay for a train tickets so that the offender can meet the victim in person and then ceasing contact when money has been sent).

Protect yourself:

  • Be cautious of trusting people online and be suspicious of anyone asking for money. Remember that seasoned fraudsters can be very convincing.
  • Don't send money to someone you've never met / don't know the identity of for certain.

 

Reporting fraud

First of all, if you think that some has (or might have) access to your bank account in some way, the first thing to do is contact your bank so that you account can be frozen / to stop any more money from being taken.

Then you can report the matter to the athoprities. It's important to report fraud for a variety of reasons. Sometimes an official police report / reference number is required for insurance purposes. However even if you're not bothered about making it a police matter, it's still helpful to report it either to the police directly or to Action Fraud so that law enforcement agencies can build up a current picture of what types of fraud are most common, which specific scams are currently affecting large numbers of people and therefore where best to allocate resources to tackle criminal activity most efficiently.

To report a crime to the police directly, dial 101 (police non-emergency number).

Alternatively, you can report via Action Fraud either online or by phone - their website is www.actionfraud.police.uk. They can then either forward the report to the police as a formal police report or can just record the incident - anonymously if you wish - for statistical and intelligence purposes.

 

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