Housing Scams: Don't get caught out!

Check out our top tips to avoid being scammed by accommodation payment fraudsters.


Please be aware of an accommodation scam targeting international students.

  • Students are approached through social media or We Chat
  • Students are promised a discount on rent
  • Students are asked to transfer payment of the rent amount, minus the discount

This scam can look legitimate, and you may even be sent a receipt. However, the payments don't actually reach the accommodation provider properly and so you can lose the money you've paid.

Top tips:

  • Never trust a message asking for money from a number you don't know
  • Never send money to a company you don't know, without checking their identity with someone impartial (e.g. Advice Centre, University Accommodation Services)
  • Always view accommodation before paying a holding deposit - make sure the accommodation exists and is in a liveable condition first
  • Always pay for your accommodation with the provider directly - avoid third party rent payment services
  • If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is

If you think you may have been targeted by fraud in any capacity, please report it to the police on 101 or via Action Fraud.

For further support, contact your Student Advice Centre or email HallamHelp at hallamhelp@shu.ac.uk.