University of Southampton students receive hoax email telling them exams are cancelled

Telegraph Reporters
The email was made to appear as if it was sent by Sir Christopher Maxwell Snowden, pictured - PA Archive

A hacker posing as a vice chancellor sent an email to all students telling them the university was closing down and exams were cancelled.

The fake email from Sir Christopher Maxwell Snowden was sent to all of University of Southampton's students yesterday lunchtime (19).

It said the university was closing for financial reasons and current students would be enrolled at nearby Solent University.

The email claimed the university would be the first of six to close with immediate effect because of Brexit.

It claimed the former vice-chancellor had "just got off the phone with the prime minister" and the decision to close the university comes from "the government".

It is understood to have been sent to all 24,500 students.

The email said: "Dear all, It is with great regret that I have to inform you all I have just got off the phone with the prime minister.

The hoax email sent out by the hacker Credit: The Tab /SWNS.COM 

"Unfortunately due to budget constraints and the pressure Brexit is placing on the economy the government has take the decision to close six universities.

"With the University of Southampton being the first to close with immediate effect next week.

"I was able to negotiate guarantees you will all be rehoused at a far superior university.

"You will all be transferred to Solent University for the next semester.

"As consolation I've decided to allow you all to forgo your January exams so get a massive sesh on!!"

It was signed off with "All the best, Yours Sir Christopher VC".

Sir Christopher Maxwell Snowden was the Vice-Chancellor of the university until last year.

A University of Southampton spokesperson said: "The University of Southampton are aware of an email circulated earlier to students pretending to be from the Vice-Chancellor and relating to the University.

"We want to reassure all of our students that this email is fake. It was not sent by the Vice-Chancellor and did not come from his personal account.

"The information it contains is completely false and should be disregarded. The University is open and operating as normal.

"The University is treating the matter seriously. Our iSolutions team are working to track down the source of this e-mail and appropriate action will be taken."