The Students Representative Council (SRC) has advised students to be extra careful when revealing their personal details after letters from debt agencies have been sent to several Glasgow University students demanding payment for careers guidance said to have been given by an external company.
The company, operating under the name of Career Guide Limited, claims to, “provide a professional career development service that will maximise your chances of finding that dream career.” The company’s website details various packages, from help with creating a CV for £15 + VAT to membership at the cost of £895 per year.
The firm was able to obtain students’ details after posing near the University Library at the start of the semester to gather that information.
According to the SRC, up to 10 students have been targeted and all have been charged around £1,000 after allegedly receiving careers guidance from the company. University staff and the SRC’s advice centre are now reviewing the cases.
In a statement to the Glasgow Guardian, Louise Graham, SRC Vice-President for Student Support, commented that it was worrying for the students involved:
“The SRC are very concerned that this ‘company’ has been operating on campus and getting personal details from students under false pretences. It is concerning for us that a debt collection company is involved which can be very upsetting for students.”
The Glasgow Guardian contacted the company on a number of occasions for a comment, but no response was given.
The news has highlighted questions of security around campus as the fake company is alleged to have posed with fabricated University of Glasgow badges. The SRC and campus security are now looking to implement stricter rules on the access currently being given to outside companies around campus. Louise Graham said:
“To stop this happening again, the SRC, alongside campus security, are looking to implement stricter ID controls for companies on campus contacting students and we plan to ensure that students know to be vigilant with their details in future”.
The University’s Careers Service also advised students not to approach external careers services who request payment. A post on their Facebook page on the 12th of December read:
“We don’t charge for our services, and we generally advise students to steer clear of Careers Services who do. Be wary of giving over your details to strangers on the street – if in doubt, walk away.”
This is not the first time students have been targeted by fraudulent companies. The Glasgow Guardian reported in September on warnings from the Careers Service to take care to research potential employees after a scam vacancy appeared on their database. The vacancy was removed after several students contacted the Careers Service when they suspected it was a fake. No students fell victim to that scam.
Students who have been sent messages which they feel are potentially fraudulent are urged to speak to the SRC’s advice centre who will help refer their case to the debt recovery companies and the police.