Student Loans Company phishing scam

September 30, 2011

Please be reminded that scammers and hackers sometimes try to impersonate the Student Loans Company. An email has been sent to various people around the University that is likely to contain a virus and/or phishing scam.

Please be reminded that scammers and hackers sometimes try to impersonate the Student Loans Company. An email has been sent to various people around the University that is likely to contain a virus and/or phishing scam.

The email that has been noticed today has the subject line “Update your Student Finance Account!!”. However, hackers and scammers frequently alter subject lines and message texts frequently to make them convincing. So, please always be cautious about emails that ask you to open attachments or follow links, especially if the email sounds urgent.

Student Loans Company’s Security Manager Robert Hurt said:

“We are aware that some students are being affected by these scam emails and we want to ensure that they do not respond to these.

“We monitor this issue very closely and aim to close phishing sites down as soon as students alert us to them, to protect other students.

“Students need to work with us to ensure their identity and financial details are protected and not compromised.”

Student Loans Company’s phishing guide, top tips and details on what to do if you receive a suspicious email can be found at their Online Security page.

Student Loans Company’s Top Five Tips to Avoid Phishing:

  1. Be suspicious of any urgent requests for personal or financial information.
  2. Be aware: Phishing scams are common at the three main instalment payment dates in September, January and April.
  3. Always ensure that you’re using a secure web site when submitting credit card or other sensitive information; look out for “https://” and/or the security lock.
  4. Prevention: Your email details may have been taken from a social networking site so avoid disclosing your email address or make sure you hide it on your page.
  5. Check the quality of the communication. Misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often tell-tale signs of phishing.

The Student Loans Company will:

  • Never ask to update your bank details
  • Never ask you to verify your account details
  • Never ask you to click a link, always type the address yourself: www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
  • Never ask you to answer combinations on the same screen i.e Your Customer Reference Number and Password on the same screen
  • Never provide you with a choice of secret questions. We will only ever ask you the question you gave us.
  • Never ask you to update items such as date of birth or provide your email address password.

The Company has partnered with ‘Get Safe Online’ to produce a 'phishing guide’ and top tips to promote online student safety and protection against scam emails.

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