The number of scams targeting students has risen in recent years, but there are ways to protect yourself from fraudsters.
Be wary of people offering to pay fees on your behalf, often at reduced rates or under special conditions.
Studying at university is an investment, especially for international students. It’s understandable to be tempted by offers of discounts, but these are likely to be a fake, and you could lose your money.
Remember, you should only pay your university fees directly to Bath Spa University. For details on how to do this, visit How to Pay. If you make a payment in any other way, you could lose your money.
Always report anything suspicious to the University. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice if you're unsure.
Remember: making payments in any other way than the University’s recommended payment methods may result in a loss of funds.
Types of scams
Scams can affect students from all over the world. For example, a scammer might falsely use a university’s name and ask you to 'validate your account' or provide personal, security or banking details.
We never ask you to confirm information in this way. Ignore such emails and report them as phishing spam.
Tuition fee scams
Scammers may reach out to international students to tell them they have a way to reduce the cost of university tuition fees.
The person approaching you might be another student (at Bath Spa or elsewhere) or could be a friend or family acquaintance. Offers like these are usually part of a card scam.
The scammer will offer to arrange a discount for you, by paying the university on your behalf. They may ask you to pay someone else, or use a website which could look genuine but is not.
Everything may seem legitimate at first. The person may make the payment as agreed, but will often do so using a stolen card. The payment will then later be declined or declared invalid.
The result is that you've lost your money and unknowingly become involved in illegal activity – and your tuition fees will still be payable.
Student loans scams
In recent years, fake emails pretending to be from the Student Loans Company (SLC) and other student finance organisations have been sent to students at UK universities.
These emails falsely notify students that their account has been suspended due to incomplete information. They often contain a link to a fake website to gain personal details. Don't click on the links within these emails.
Our team will never ask for your login, password, bank details or personal information by email.
Loan payment scams
Around the three loan payment dates in September, January and April, fraudsters may target students to trick them into disclosing personal information to access their online accounts and steal their money.
We never email you a link to pay your fees. All students are advised to pay online on our payments page directly or by international bank transfer using Flywire.
How to protect yourself
- If in doubt, contact the University for advice or visit Action Fraud for further guidance.
- Never respond to any offers made online.
- Be wary of approaches made on WeChat, Facebook, Instagram or any other method.
- Never pay tuition fees through third parties. Only pay tuition fees directly to the University using the authorised payment methods on our How to Pay page.
- Report any suspicious contacts to the income team, email@example.com.
- Never share personal information or login details with anyone.
- Don’t be pressured into making payments because of an ‘offer expiring’. Criminals will try to rush or panic you to try to hide their fraud.
- Never pay any type of tuition fee in cash to individuals or contacts through WeChat.
How to spot fraud
There are many different scams. Be suspicious of the following:
- The offer sounds too good to be true
- You’re asked to pay someone other than Bath Spa University
- The email asks for your bank or login details
- You're asked to send money in advance
- The email address seems unusual
- The email contains bad spelling and grammar.
- Visit the official website of UK anti-fraud campaigners Take Five to learn more about scams and how to recognise them.
- Review our student finance page for more information about fees, payments, and funding options.
- Report suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and suspicious text messages to 7726.
- Watch the fictional docudrama Crooks on Campus.
Need to get in touch?
If you’re contacted by suspicious individuals or receive emails that you’re not sure about, please report them to us via email@example.com.
If you have any queries about tuition fees or funding and you can’t find the information you need on our website, please email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.