Students across the country have been receiving emails fraudulently claiming to be from the Student Loans Company in a recent wave of phishing scams. The emails often come from seemingly official email addresses and ask students to verify or update their personal account and bank details. Many scammers then use these details to access bank accounts and steal thousands of pounds at a time from unsuspecting students.
Oxford students reported receiving emails only yesterday which stated, ‘This is a formal notification of an important account update. Due to a recent update in our database we require all student to update their account information to ensure you receive your scheduled payment and avoid a missed payment.’
The SLC, which has more than 4 million customers, has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service in attempt to combat the fraudsters. On Thursday 8th December police arrested six people 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 £1 million.
The SLC website also adds that ‘so far this year the security and fraud prevention team has closed down over 1400 external phishing sites after they were reported to us.’
However, it seems that despite this action the scams continue, taking advantage of concerned students shortly due to receive the next instalment of their loan.
Student Loans Company’s Fraud Manager, Heather Laing, has given a statement saying, ‘We want students to be aware that these scam emails are in circulation now and they should not respond to these.’
She advised all students to ‘ignore messages that tell you to ‘validate your account’ or provide any personal, security or banking details as the Student Loans Company will never ask you to confirm your information in this way.’