Student loan scam – how to stay safe

Updated on 07 September 2017 | 1 Comment

Fraudsters are sending a flurry of mails in the hopes of stealing students' first loan payments.

Scammers are targeting students to try and get their hands on their September loan payments.

The emails will falsely claim that failure to respond with personal information will see them “lose or delay” their first finance payment.

Below is one such example, flagged up by Action Fraud, which is doing the rounds in the lead up to the new academic year.

It claims that Student Loans Company accounts have been suspended due to incomplete student information, and victims are urged to update their details using a web link which then leads to a fake website with the aim of harvesting personal details. 

The scam is believed to target both new and current university students.

However, Action Fraud says examples of the scam have been reported where individuals who have never applied for student finance have also received the email.

How hackers buy and sell your details

How to stay safe

Phishing is when fraudsters send you emails or texts pretending to be from a legitimate company asking to get you to hand over your personal financial information.

Often these emails look like they are genuine and may carry the right logos and seemingly information about you, but there are ways you can spot fakes from the genuine article.

1. Be on your guard if you get an email or text asking for personal information or banking details. Your actual bank, building society, or in this case the Student Loan Company, will not ask you for personal details.

2. Check who the email is addressed to. If it says ‘Dear Student’ it is likely to be phishing as these emails are sent out in bulk so don’t contain personal greetings.

3. Take a look at the spelling and grammar. Phishing emails tend to contain mistakes.

4. Be suspicious if the email threatens action if you don’t respond quickly such as ‘Respond within 24 hours or your account will be closed’. Scammers want to create a bit of panic so you are less likely to check the authenticity of the email.

5. Don’t click on any links within emails or texts. You may well be sent to a fraudulent website designed to harvest your financial information. If you think you need to check something open your browser and type in the address yourself, having verified the address elsewhere.

6. As mentioned earlier, if you do receive a phishing email pretending to be from the Student Loan Company forward it to so it can be investigated.

Read more on loveMONEY:

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