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Fraud Facts for Freshers – GOV.UK

Student Loans Corporation (SLC) is warning students to beware of phishing and fraud scams as the company prepares to pay more than £2 billion in maintenance funding to more than a million students throughout the month of September. As payments reach students, the company warns new and returning students not to be scammed into revealing personal details via email or clicking links in emails or text messages from senders they don’t recognize, as they may install malware.

Scammers can target students with fake emails and text messages about the three loan repayment dates of September, January and April each year. In the past two academic years alone, dedicated client compliance teams at SLC have prevented £850,000 from being subjected to student loan fraud. Expert teams have a range of methods and fraud analytics to stop fraudsters in their tracks, but students need to know that they are the best and first line of defense.

Detecting phishing or scam fraudulent emails, SMS messages, or any type of fraudulent communication isn’t always easy, but the student loan company has some fraud-related facts to help:

  • Keep an eye out for any emails, phone calls, or SMS messages that you think are suspicious, especially around the time you expect to pay.

  • Scam emails are often sent in bulk and are unlikely to contain your first and last name; They usually start with, “Dear Student” so be on the lookout if you see one like this.

  • Check the quality of your communication – misspellings, bad punctuation, and bad grammar are often telltale signs of phishing.

  • “No response within 24 hours will result in your account being closed” – These types of messages are designed to convey a sense of urgency for a quick response.

  • Think before you click. If you receive an email or SMS with a link you’re not sure of, try hovering over it to check it’s where it’s supposed to. If you are still in doubt, don’t risk it, always go directly to the source instead of clicking on a potentially dangerous link.

  • Potential scammers can use a variety of methods to try to get students to pay money or share their personal data, including using fraudulent phone calls, social posts, and direct messages on digital platforms. If you suspect that you have been contacted, always use official phone numbers, your online account, and official contact channels to verify that the contact you have received is genuine.
  • Check out our guide to identifying a phishing scam at www.gov.uk/guidance/phishing-scams-how-you-can-avoid-them

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfl4X8iJhc0&t=9s

Bernice McNutt, executive director of repayment and customer compliance at Student Loan Company, said:

“We work hard to help our customers stay safe, but scammers persist and will try to target them and their parents with emails and texts requesting personal details to gain access to their accounts.

“We remind all students to be vigilant about online scams and phishing attempts as the new school year begins in September of this year. Although things may be a little different for some newbies this year, we want them to know that scammers are not They are still working to steal their funding.

“Students can keep their accounts secure by following our simple advice, and anyone who receives a suspicious email or SMS should send it to phishing@slc.co.uk. SLC can check the site and ensure it is closed, to help protect other students.”

The company also urges students to be aware of the information they share about themselves on social media, and elsewhere online, to help protect against identity theft. Identity theft occurs when fraudsters access enough information about a person’s identity, such as a name, date of birth, customer reference number, course information, or current or past addresses, to impersonate them online and over the phone. One method that identity thieves will use is to impersonate an individual to try to gain access to their account and change their bank details to transfer payments to their own account.

Customers in England should be aware that whenever their bank details have changed they will receive an SMS from Student Finance England (SFE) to confirm the change. If the customer does not change their details but receives a message, they must log into their online account to review their information and also call using an official phone number as they may be a victim of identity theft and future payments may be blocked if they do not. Customers should update their contact details to ensure they do not miss important information by logging into their online accounts at https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login

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