More than half of students have been targeted by criminals in the past year, NatWest has revealed in their 2022 Student Living Index.
Every year for the past eight years, the bank has published data which shows what it is like to be a university student. Students are asked about their spending habits, activities, savings, wellbeing, and financial reliance on their parents.
Sections of the Index include data on students’ budgeting methods, part-time employment, access to mental health services, and scams.
26% of students encountered bank scams over the past year
This year, the bank surveyed 3,000 students, and found that fraudsters posing as bank staff are targeting university students. Other scams affecting students include criminals pretending to be from HMRC and delivery service scams.
26% of students surveyed had encountered bank scams over the past year, and 16% had encountered tax rebate scams, with the same amount also saying they had been targeted by delivery service scams.
The full 2022 NatWest Student Living Index will be published on August 12.
Head of NatWest Students Accounts, Laura Behan, said: ‘This year’s NatWest student living index reveals a concerning number of students being targeted by criminals.’
Behan advised students to ‘be on their guard’ when they receive an unexpected text message, email, or phone call ‘asking for personal details.’
How does this compare to 2021?
NatWest’s 2021 Student Living Index revealed that 76% of students had dealt with a delivery service scam, although only 2% of those who were targeted lost money. Following on from that, bank and HMRC Tax Rebate scams were the second most encountered issues, with 67% and 61% of students being targeted respectively.
In 2021, Exeter students were the most targeted by scams, with 87% claiming to have encountered one.
The NatWest security hub states that delivery scams, fake NatWest text messages, and Covid-19 related scams are on the rise. The bank explains that their text messages will never contain links to pages that ask for any online banking or full card details. They warn customers never to give out their Online Banking PIN, full password, card reader codes, or mobile app codes to anyone via text.