Telephone scam guidance

Close-up photograph of two people's hands holding mobile phones.

The University has recently received reports of scams targeting students via telephone. Criminals are using sophisticated methods to make calls appear to be from a Brookes number.

Remember: the University will never ask you to pay tuition or hall fees over the phone. You can only make these payments through your portal account or on our website.

What does the scam look like?

Each case started with a simple phone call. A common scenario has been a phone call from a scammer pretending to be from the University with a story to trick the recipient into a false sense of urgency. The scammers have been prepared, using personal details such as first names and faking caller ID details so the calls look like they are coming from Brookes numbers such as the University’s switchboard.

The scammers invent situations to create urgency, to get you to react before you think, such as:

  • claiming student data, including bank details, have been leaked due to an Eduroam hack
  • claiming someone has accessed your bank account and tried to withdraw money.

So far, the scammers have tried to obtain bank details or trick people into transferring money, but they may also use the same techniques to trick students into revealing details such as passwords.

What can we do?

Unfortunately, no one can prevent scammers from making calls that look like they’re from a trusted number, such as the Brookes switchboard. That means everyone needs to be aware of the risk and be cautious if anyone asks you to give out personal information or transfer money. 


  • be wary of unexpected calls - especially if the caller is asking you to act urgently
  • the caller ID on your phone can be spoofed (faked)
  • the University will never ask you to pay for tuition or hall fees over the phone - payments are made through your portal account or via our website 
  • if you suspect a scam, hang up immediately and call back directly for confirmation using a known and officially published number.

Finally, if this happens to you please tell the University via ServiceNow to help us understand the scale and frequency of the threat.