There’s another scam email promising to give students grants

It claims you have been accepted for a grant based on academic performance


A scam email is being sent to university email addresses around the country telling students they’re so clever they’ve been handed grants from the government. It claims recipients have been approved by the Department of Education.

The scam says that the person is eligible for the grant due to ‘academic performance’ and ‘financial circumstance’.

Cardiff University is the latest institute to be hit by the scam. Other universities, such as Manchester and Norwich, were targeted with an identical email in May, and it could potentially be affecting universities around the UK.

A hyperlink in the email sends the recipient to a convincing University web page, where the student is expected to enter personal details such as their date of birth and student ID number.

Part of a wide-spread national phishing scam, it tries to access as much personal information as possible, including bank details. The timing of the scam has been a particular worry to third year students at Cardiff University because of recent transactions that have been made through student accounts for graduation.

Hannah, who is graduating next week from Cardiff University, said: “I was freaked out by the email because the link was so convincing, but I didn’t think it made much sense considering I have now left uni and don’t need a grant.

“I’ve recently used my uni account to purchase graduation tickets, so I’m glad I didn’t enter any details, because they might have been able to access my bank details.”

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “Phishing attacks are an unfortunate part of the digital world and the University is under continual attack.

“The overwhelming majority of messages get blocked so they never reach the students, however the spammers are getting more and more sophisticated and frequently change their email addresses in order to circumvent such blocks.

“The University takes such attacks very seriously, and has undertaken an on-going University-wide campaign to raise education regarding what to look for in such emails and what action to take.

“The campaign has included messages on the University intranet pages as well as posters and leaflets around the University indicating the tell-tale signs of what to look out for to prevent students falling foul of such phishing attempts.”

Cardiff_University_main_building

Cardiff University is the latest university to be hit by the spam email

Although the sender of the email is named ‘Cardiff University’, the email address of the sender corresponds to a Bristol University email address, which is two initials and five numbers followed by @my.bristol.ac.uk. A spokesperson for Bristol University told The Tab Cardiff: “It would appear that a handful of our students have been targeted by a phishing scam, resulting in their accounts being hacked.

“We’ve identified and suspended the accounts which were compromised. Students across the country have been victims of these attacks and we urge them all to be vigilant.”

In May 2016, the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Centre highlighted that the false grant campaign was circulating round UK universities. They reported that one student entered their information in the false university website and was then lead to another website similar to their online banking.