The Student Loans Company has taken the unusual step of telephoning some of its customers to warn them they may be the victim of fraud.
The BBC reports that the SLC is being extremely cagey about how many of its 4million customers have been affected, the source of the data and the nature of the data that has potentially been compromised, but customers are being told to be “vigilant with their personal details”.
The act of phoning customers may raise some alarm bells for those called who may believe the call itself is an attempt at fraud.
The Student Loans Company is no stranger to the threat of fraud; it has been the victim of a surge of phishing websites, with 1,400 of them shut down this year. Earlier this month, 6 people were arrested in connection with an investigation into a sophisticated phishing scam that targeted hundreds of UK students; using their compromised data to steal in excess of £1million.
Metropolitan Police investigators were alerted to the scam in August 2011, and discovered that a criminal network were targeting students through Government loan schemes by sending out emails inviting unsuspecting individuals to update details on their student loan account via a link to a convincing but bogus website.
Once these sites were accessed by unsuspecting individuals, the suspects were able to gain unauthorised access to their bank accounts and extract large amounts of money ranging from £1000 to £5000 at a time.
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