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As the new academic year commences, the Student Loans Company (SLC), will be paying more than £2 billion into students' bank accounts. Fraudsters target students with bogus emails and text messages around loan payment dates each year!

Don’t be tricked into disclosing personal details or following links in emails or text messages, as these could be installing malware. 

Spotting a phishing email or text is not always easy, here are some fraud facts from the SLC to help you.

  • Check the quality of the communication. Misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often tell-tale signs of phishing.
  • Keep an eye out for any emails, phone calls or text messages you think are suspicious, especially around the time you’re expecting a payment.
  • Scam emails and text messages are often sent in bulk to many people at the same time. They're unlikely to contain both your first and last name. These commonly start ‘Dear Student’ so be on guard if you see one like this.
  • ‘Failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed’ - these types of messages are designed to create a sense of urgency to prompt a quick response.
  • Think before you click. If you receive an email or text that contains a link you’re not sure of, hover over it to check it goes where it’s supposed to. If you’re still in any doubt, do not risk it. Always go direct to the source rather than following a potentially dangerous link.
  • Scammers can use a variety of methods to try get students to pay money or share their personal details. These include fraudulent phone calls, social posts and direct messaging on digital platforms. If you're suspicious, always use official phone numbers, your online account and other official communication channels to verify the contact you received is genuine.
  • Be mindful of the information you share about yourself on social media and elsewhere online. This will help to guard against identity theft. Identity theft happens when fraudsters get enough information about a person to impersonate them online and over the phone. This can include their name, date of birth, customer reference number, course information and current or previous addresses.
  • Check out the SLC guide to identifying a phishing scam for more information.

Students in England and Wales should be aware that whenever their bank details are changed, you will receive a text message from Student Finance England or Student Finance Wales to confirm the change. 

If you have not changed your details but receive a message, you should sign into your online account to review your information. You should also get in contact using an official telephone number as you could be the victim of identity theft.

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