New Students

Watch out for scams or fraud!

It's important to know how to protect yourself against fraud

Fraud or a SCAM is a fraudulent scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group, or company in an attempt to obtain money or something else of value.  Anyone can be targeted and everyone is at risk so it is important you learn how to recognise a fraud and protect yourself against them.

Frauds are now very sophisticated (and can be complex) using impersonation techniques, stolen data or personal details from social media to make you believe what they say is genuine. Frausters may think you are an easy target because you are away from home, family and friends. You may be unfamiliar with local laws or not know where to go for help and advice.

Protect yourself against scams

It is important you learn how to recognise a fraud and protect yourself against them.


Police Scotland Student Online Safety Guide 2023

  • Police Scotland have put together a guide to provide you with important safety advice on how you can avoid becoming a victim of crime
  • This guide will equip you with information and advice to increase your awareness, prepare you to identify potential frauds and prevent the loss of your valuable data to those intent on stealing it
  • Click below to view the guide

Advice to be aware of from the start of University

  • Question any unexpected contact - this includes phone calls, letters, emails or people knocking on your door who you do not recognise
  • Don’t rush into a decision about anything, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
  • If in doubt, speak to someone you trust

 Fraud Prevention - Video by Police Scotland and the Chinese Consulate

Making payments

  • Don’t assume everyone is genuine. If someone attempts to pressurise you into accepting a service or requesting money upfront, they are unlikely to be genuine.
  • It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try and rush or panic you.
  • Only purchase goods and services from legitimate retailers and always take a moment before parting with your money or personal information

Money Laundering

Money laundering is the illegal process of making large amounts of money generated by criminal activity appear to have come from a legitimate source. The money generated from the criminal activity is considered ‘dirty’ and the process ‘launders’ it to make it look ‘clean’.

Some students are being approached and may be pressured into taking part in this activity, involving paying large sums of cash into their bank accounts before being transferred out. 

Police Scotland is aware of a number of occasions where this has happened and we urge students in this activity to be aware that participation in this activity may be illegal and to stop immediately.

Money laundering is a criminal offense. If prosecuted, you could face a lengthy custodial sentence.

Range of useful advice about scams and frauds (Police Scotland website)

IT security 

  • Be cautious when using social media. Never give out personal information and watch what you share - this can be used to steal your identity and access accounts
  • Keep mobile devices, operating systems and virus protection software up to date. Keep your devices locked if you are not using them, and don’t install software from unofficial sources
  • Choose unique passwords for every account. Never use the password you use for University accounts anywhere else
  • Use secure WiFi connections and avoid unencrypted public WiFi. Your standard 3G/4G/5G connection is often more secure than public WiFi available in coffee shops or restaurants
  • If your browser warns you about a site you visit, don’t ignore it, and don’t proceed
  • Avoid phishing and scams. Be wary of any messages that ask for personal information or passwords, or that link to sites that do

Watch a short video on how to avoid online scams and phishing (University log in required)

The University’s Information Security team have some tips you help keep you and your information secure during your time at the University. Following these tips will keep us all safer.

Information Security tips for new students


Police Scotland - Student Online Safety

Watch the following videos created by Police Scotland for students. The videos provide guidance, advice, and support about staying safe, whether it be on campus, online or at a social event.

Video: Police Scotland - Student Safety Advice and Support
These videos provide you with guidance, help, support, and advice to keep safe as a student. The videos have been created by Police Scotland to highlight student safety.

Relevant Links 

Pay your fees | The University of Edinburgh

Your Essential Top 6 Tasks | The University of Edinburgh

Get ready for University | The University of Edinburgh