More than half of students targeted by scammers, with Edinburgh among hotspots

More than half of students have been targeted by criminals in the past year, with Edinburgh emerging as a hotspot for scams, according to new data from Royal Bank of Scotland.

The lender said its annual survey of 3,000 students found that fraudsters posing as bank staff, or pretending to be from HM Revenue and Customs offering fake tax rebates, are among the common scams to watch out for. More than four in five respondents in Edinburgh said they had experienced fraud.

It added that criminals will try to harvest personal details as well as money through such ploys, and more than a quarter of students surveyed had encountered bank scams over the past year, with 16 per cent having encountered tax rebate ones while the same proportion had been targeted by delivery service deceptions.

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Students said they has also been contacted with investment, social media, entertainment and shopping account hacks and money mule scams.

Laura Behan, head of Royal Bank student accounts said: "This year's NatWest student living index reveals a concerning number of students being targeted by criminals. We'd advise students to be on their guard when they receive an unexpected text message, email or phone call asking for personal details."

More advice from the NatWest-owned bank includes remembering that banks or the police will never ask for a full Pin or password, card reader codes, or ask you to move money from your account

It also urges scepticism if you see a deal online that looks too good to be true from a website you have never heard of, and social media investment scams offering the chance to get rich quick.

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RBS urges people to be way of unsolicited phone calls, texts or emails asking for personal or bank details. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.