Abigail Cadman Kerr
Many fraudsters target students as victims, particularly at the times their student loan payment is due to arrive (in September, January, and April). The Student Loans Company has reported that there is currently a text message scam circulating, where students are told that their maintenance loan is ready and then sent a hyperlink. This link then asks students to update their bank details. However, the Student Loans Company have confirmed that they will never send a text asking you to do this via a hyperlink.
It is important to be vigilant in order to avoid these scams. If you need to check your details, use the Student Finance website on a trusted device over a secure Wi-Fi connection. Do not click on any links within texts or emails due to the large amount of fake emails and messages in circulation. Do not provide any bank details over the phone, or by email or text. Instead, update your information via your account on the Student Finance website.
“The first line of defence against fraudsters is always students themselves”
The Student Loan Company have said they are taking steps to reduce fraud. Their Customer Compliance teams have reportedly stopped £1.2 million from being stolen from students’ bank accounts.
Bernie McNaught, Executive Director, Repayments and Customer Compliance at the Student Loans Company, said: “Keeping money in students’ pockets is a high priority for SLC. Our Counter Fraud teams work to keep on top of the constantly evolving digital scams, to support students who may be in danger of losing their funds to fraudsters. The first line of defence against fraudsters is always students themselves. They can keep their account safe by following our simple tips.”
The Student Loans Company has provided some fraud facts to help, which can be found on the government website. This advice includes checking for any spelling or grammar mistakes in communication and checking how the correspondence is introduced (scam messages are often sent in bulk so normally start with ‘Dear Student’).
If you need to report a student loan scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com to report any suspicious emails. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, you can report it to the Student Loans Company via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-report-suspected-fraud-to-the-student-loans-company.
Abigail Cadman Kerr
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