Stuart has worked for the Student Loans Company since 2003, and in Counter Fraud Services since last May.
SLC’s Counter Fraud Services has closed down 24 phishing sites targeting students in the past six months.
The team has worked hard to reduce the number of students falling victim to fraudsters using phishing scams to steal student loans. In AY 2014/15, the team investigated 189 cases, which resulted in savings to SLC of £213,655.
And you can help too, by making sure that your students know what to look out for.
If a student mistakenly gives out their details and their student loan is stolen they are still liable to repay it!
Phishing is a fraudulent activity designed to trick people, including students, into giving out their personal details. Fraudsters can then use this information to log in to their student finance account to steal information and, potentially, their money.
Students are usually targeted in September, January and April, when they get their student finance payments. For many students this will be their first major financial transaction.
Many students have become more aware of phishing scams thanks to increased publicity and word of mouth, but they won’t necessarily know what to look out for. It’s important for them to be wary and not post personal details online, including on social networking sites.
Make sure your students know that SLC will never request that they confirm their bank details or their personal information by email or text. If they receive a suspicious email or text message they should let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org – it’s important never to respond to suspicious emails or texts or click on any links.
Phishing emails can look genuine, but will commonly contain bad spelling, grammar or punctuation or urge the student to provide their details quickly. Make sure your students know what to look out for – it could prevent them making a costly mistake.
If any of your students are concerned that they have been a victim of a phishing scam, they should contact the team by:
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