Your Advice Service

New Review Scam Has Cost Students Thousands of Pounds

A new scam aimed at people (particularly students) looking for part-time work reviewing hotels, shops and products has caused many to lose thousands of pounds. Read about the scam, how to avoid it, and what to do if you have been victim to it.

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Your Students’ Union have been made aware of a new scam targeting students, particularly through Facebook and Telegram.  We want to share what the scam is, how it works, and how to report the scam if you believe you have been victim to it.

The general rule with scams is if it seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is.


How Does the Scam Work?

You may be contacted directly by a scammer asking if you want to try a review job. They will claim that the job allows you to work from home and to earn hundreds of pounds a day. They might contact you on Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook or any other messaging service and claim to work for an organisation that actually exists (such as Anywhr).

The scammer will ask for your mobile number where they will then Whatsapp message you with a link to a website and sometimes an invitation code. This will link to an account where the scammer will encourage you to use a fake name and contact number. This website will generate random hotels, shops, products and anything else for you to review. The job is to give 5-star reviews to these organisations or items and you will be told that you will be paid per rating you give. You will be asked to do some reviews and then withdraw the amount from the account.

You will be added to a Whatsapp or Telegram group where others with the same job will be sharing their (fake) success stories and telling you how much money they have made. You will then be asked to deposit money in your account to “renew” the job and the hotels that you can rate, which you are told you can then withdraw at a later date in order to make a profit.

Once you deposit your money into this account, the scammer will steal your money and your account balance will become negative. They will then tell you to deposit more money into your account so that you can view more things to review and make more money. They will repeat this process for as long as they can.

As soon as you realise that you are being scammed or tell the scammer that you will report them, they will block you on any way that you have to contact them and will disappear, moving onto a new victim.

There are several versions of this scam, but they all follow the same main idea of advertising a dream job, working from home and reviewing hotels, shops or products and earning hundreds of pounds a day. Some versions of it involve cryptocurrency, being asked to send money directly to a scammer, or  


How can I identify a scam?

The goal with scams is to make it as least obvious possible and they are getting more sophisticated and harder to spot. There are some key things to look for:

  • If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If you’re contacted by someone you don’t know asking for your bank details or personal information (whether through a message, email, at your front door or through another channel).
  • If you’re being emailed from a suspicious email address – the email addresses will likely be filled with random letters, numbers or punctuation.
  • If there is a sense of urgency to hand over money or something else.
  • You've been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, by iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union.
  • You’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs.
  • You haven't had written confirmation of what's been agreed.
  • Not personalised or directly addressed to you (Dear Sir/ Madam, Hi, Hello etc.).
  • Bank emails or texts not including your Account or Customer Service Numbers.


How can I protect myself from scams?

Follow Take 5 To Stop Fraud Advice on how to identify a scam and avoid becoming victim to fraud.

  • STOP – Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information.
  • CHALLENGE – Could it be fake? It is ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Legitimate organisations will not rush you or try to cause panic.
  • PROTECT – Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.


What can I do if I think I’ve been scammed?

If you feel threatened in any way you should call 999 immediately. You can follow Citizens advice's information on what to do if you've been scammed. 

Sometimes scams and scammers might steal your passwords or financial information. You should immediately reset your passwords if you suspect these have been stolen. If you think your account details or PIN have been stolen you need to contact your bank immediately to stop your account being used. Pay close attention to your statements to see if there are unusual transactions.

You should contact your bank immediately if there is a payment from your bank account you don’t recognise – an 'unauthorised transaction' or if you have used your debit card and more money was taken than you expected.

If you transferred money to the scammer, either directly or through another mean such as Cryptocurrency, in the last 24 hours you should inform the police as soon as possible by calling 101.

If you have given or lost money to a scammer, you can visit the Citizens Advice website to “Check If You can Get Your Money Back After A Scam”.


How can I report a scam?

You should always report any scam to Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. You can make a report online and receive updates on the action being taken. If you are D/deaf or hard of hearing you can contact Action Fraud on textphone 0300 123 2050.

If you receive a scam email, forward it to It will go to the National Cyber Security Centre who will work to stop anyone else being scammed.

If you believe you may have found a scam, need advice about scams, or would like to report a scam, you can do this by contacting the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, using their online form, or by talking to an online adviser. You can report an online scam (social media, emails and websites – anything using the internet) and offline scams (such as telephone or doorstep scams).

If the Scam is a Facebook ad in the UK, you can flag it as a scam or as providing misleading information by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner and clicking “Report ad”, “Misleading or scam ad” and “Send a detailed scam report”. Facebook will then investigate any reports and remove them if necessary.


What support can I get?

If you are struggling financially as a result of being scammed, please contact Your Students’ Union Advice Service for support. We will work with you to tell you how to report the scam if you haven’t already and what support may be available to you, such as financial support from the University via the University Support Fund. 

You can either contact us by completing an Enquiry Form, by booking an appointment with an Advice Caseworker, or by attending one of our drop-in events.

If you are struggling to find part-time work, we would also recommend that you contact the Talent Team. The Talent Team are the University’s employability service and can support you with your career throughout your time as a student and after graduation. They can work with you to build your CV, how to write cover letters and job applications, identify potential job opportunities for you and more.


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