The Student Loans Company (SLC) has encouraged students to be on their guard for phishing scams as the company is preparing to pay Maintenance Loan funding to around 1.1 million students throughout September. As payments make their way to students, the company is warning Freshers and returning students to not be tricked into disclosing personal details or clicking on links in emails or text messages, as they could be installing malware.
Fraudsters can target students with bogus emails and SMS around the three loan payment dates in September, January, and April each year. In the last two academic years alone, SLC’s dedicated Customer Compliance teams have prevented over half a million pounds from being phished from students’ loans.
Targeting students can be extremely lucrative for fraudsters, especially when timed well. Their messages can look increasingly convincing and often include a scaremongering message, making their victims even more likely to proceed whilst being fearful of losing out on their loans.
You must always remain vigilant to any message received, whether it’s phishing emails or text messages that contain links. Many do not associate SMS with phishing, but it is widely used to convey illicit messaging, enticing victims to part with their private information such as passwords or bank details.
It is always worth reminding students to log in to their accounts via their usual trusted method, but if some feel they have been conned into giving away their details they should think about upping their security on their bank accounts and changing any passwords if any were disclosed.