As the new academic year starts, Student Finance England (SFE)
has launched a new video to warn all students, and especially
freshers, to 'stay safe online' and be aware of a new generation of
fraudsters looking to steal their student finance.
SFE, which administers their loans and grants, is keen to make
students aware of the risks they face from fraudulent attempts to
access their loans and grants in phishing and smishing scams. The
new SFE information and guidance video on these can be viewed on
Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/SFEFILM. Its release is
timely as the circulation of deceitful emails and texts, directed
specifically at students, is particularly common around the time
that student finance payments are made.
To receive their initial payments students have to ensure that
they have signed and returned their online declaration forms and
that their university or college has confirmed attendance on their
course. Aware that students are receiving their funding,
fraudsters target them with emails and texts requesting them to
disclose personal and account details in order to access their
finance. All students, particularly freshers who may not have
had previous experience managing their finances, can easily fall
for their trickery.
SFE has some top tips to prevent students getting hooked into a
fraud 'phishing net'.
· SFE will never ask you to confirm your bank
details or login information by email. Be suspicious of any urgent
requests for personal or financial information.
· Phishing emails are sent out in bulk and are
unlikely to contain your first or last name; they commonly begin,
· Check the quality of the email or text you
receive - misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are
tell-tale signs of a phishing communication.
· Always check you're using a secure website
when submitting sensitive information online - for guidance, see
- and don't post personal information on social media pages.
SFE and Student Loans Company Head of Counter Fraud Services
Heather Laing advises: "We want to help our customers maintain
their security and be aware of the risks that some online activity
can pose. All students should be alert to these scams and remain
vigilant to attempts to defraud them and steal their funds,
particularly around payment times.
"It is absolutely vital for students to protect themselves and
their finances by keeping personal and account information
safe. Students are reminded never to post their
personal details anywhere online or disclose them in an email or
text. We will never request a customer to provide or confirm
their account or banking details by email or text."
The Student Loans Company provides practical guidance for students
and top tips on how they can safeguard their funds at