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Posted On: 6th Jun 2017

Student Scam

Alice wants to show young people the repercussions of fraud
Alice is showing the risks of anything promising to make big money quickly and easily
 Scott Reeve, a financial crime expert from Cifas, supports Alice's campaign

'I'm warning young people to be cautious of getting approached to make quick money. I feel that fraud is being too normalised.

 

'When I see people boasting about what they have from things that they've done wrong it angers me. If it's too good to be true it's normally not right.' 

 

Alice Schweigert, 19, who lives in the London borough of Lewisham, says young people are often targeted online.

 

Her Fixers project is aimed at educating young people about the risks of getting mixed up in anything that promises to make big money quickly and easily.

 

She is concerned that too many young people don't think of fraud as a serious crime, and as a result don't realise how it will affect them in the future.

 

The charity arranged for her to tell her story on ITV News London on June 8.  

 

Alice says it is common for young people to use credit cards that don't belong to them, without questioning where they come from.

 

'They think it’s acceptable to take money from people because they’re going to in some way get reimbursed for it,' she says.

 

'They don't believe they’re stealing from anyone and think the bank is the only thing getting hurt, but at the end of the day someone will suffer.' 

 

 

Alice's project is praised by Scott Reeve, a financial crime expert, from Cifas, an organisation which works on preventing fraud. 

 

He says there's been a big increase in the number of young people allowing their bank accounts to be used by fraudsters to transfer fraudulent funds - which is essentially money laundering. 

 

He is concerned that young people who get mixed up in financial scams are likely to get fraud markers against them, which can cause problems in later life and make it difficult to get hold of a job or get access to wider financial products such as a mortgage. 

 

'I think there is a perception among young people that what they're doing isn't a crime, that it's easy money,' he says. 

 

'I think it's really important, due to the huge increase in young people becoming involved in fraud, that they are aware of the tactics fraudsters will use to try and coerce them into committing fraud and the very serious consequences that will befall them if they become involved.' 

 

Alice adds: 'One of the problems with this is that people think they can get away with it for a while, not knowing that the financial institutions do catch up with it eventually.

 

'They will bar you from mortgages, taking out credit cards and being able to have loans. If I make people more aware about the damaging effect of fraud on their life then I feel like this project has served its purpose.' 

 

To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.

 

Author: Lucy Thwaite

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Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and featured on ITV.

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