Students are being warned to be vigilant when opening emails supposedly sent by the Student Loans Company (SLC).
At this time of year, Â the SLC starts to pay out to more than 600,000 students. But scammers are looking to exploit this fact to phish for bank account details from unsuspecting student borrowers. The Student Loans Company has shut down 50 fake websites already this year, double the number they forced to close in 2009.
Emails have been sent out purporting to be from the “Student Loans Company” or “Student Finance England” which ask the recipients to “confirm” their bank account details, so that the money can be paid in. Of course, these emails are really just harvesting account details.
Student Finance England are asking for any suspicious emails to be forwarded to them for investigation at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are Student Finance England’s top 5 tips for avoiding scam emails:
- Be aware: Phishing scams are common at the three main instalment payment dates inÂ September, January and April. Remember: Student Loans Company/Student FinanceÂ England will never ask you to confirm your bank details via email and remember: youÂ wonâ€™t get paid until you register and attend university and allow 2-3 working days forÂ your payment through the BACS system.
- Contact us: If you receive an email which you believe to be a phishing email from theÂ Student Loans Company or Student Finance England, email:Â email@example.com.Â Note that we wonâ€™t respond to emails sent to this address.
- Prevention: Your email details may have been taken from a social networking site soÂ avoid disclosing your email address or hide them on your page.
- Stay calm: Anyone who has already given their details should stay calm but shouldÂ change their account password as soon as possible and contact our security team.
- Further info: Students requiring further advice on using online services safely shouldÂ visit the online security page at:Â www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance orÂ www.getsafeonline.org.