Students urged to Take Five to Avoid Fraud
Monday 25 September, 2023
Students are being encouraged to ‘Take Five' so they don’t fall victim to fraud and scams during their studies.
With new and returning students making their way back to campus, West Yorkshire Police and the University of Leeds are keen to highlight the risks of students falling foul to fraud.
Millions of people across the UK are scammed every year with most scams carried out via email, text or phone calls.
And students are particularly vulnerable to being targeted by criminals.
This may be due to a new-found independence, or the receipt of an income being paid in large sums from student loans.
West Yorkshire Police has teamed up with the University of Leeds and its students’ union, Leeds University Union, to share the message across campus to make sure new and returning students to the city don’t fall victim.
A simple message to Take Five to stop fraud by:
- Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with money or information.
- Challenging, refusing or ignoring any requests – only criminals will try to rush you or panic you.
- Contacting your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam – and report it to Action Fraud – the police’s dedicated fraud-busting service.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee Townley of head West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: “Scammers know the best times to target students and will be looking to take advantage of the start of a new academic year.
“Whilst some frauds are very obvious and can be avoided, the advancement of technology, means it’s increasingly easier for scammers to create more elaborate and sophisticated scams that are a lot easier to fall for.”
Coming to university is an exciting time and often the first time people have lived independently away from home.
There’s so much going on, not just in lectures and seminars, so I would urge new and returning students to Take Five.
DCI Townley added: “It is important that students are aware of these pitfalls and where to report them.”
“If you received an email, text message or phonecall and it doesn’t feel right, just step back and think it through. The chances are it will be an attempt at fraud or a scam.”
West Yorkshire Police is also urging parents whose children are off to university to share the message.
Chris Warrington, Head of Student Support, University of Leeds said: “The wellbeing of our students is our main priority and working in partnership with West Yorkshire Police on the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign, is part of our work to ensure that our students remain as safe as possible”.
West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit staff will be on campus outside Botany House at the University of Leeds from 10am to 3pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, (25-27 September) offering help and advice to help beat fraud and scams.
For more information visit www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk
To report a scam or if you’ve been a victim of fraud contact www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.
You can also contact the University of Leeds’s Report and Support Service.
Always call 999 in an emergency.