Students in England warned to be on the lookout for "Phishing" Fraudsters

Students in England warned to be on the lookout for "Phishing" Fraudsters

10 September 2015

With a new academic year’s first payments just around the corner, Student Finance England (SFE) is urging students – and especially freshers – across England, to be security savvy online to protect themselves from scammers trying to steal their finance.

SFE who pays maintenance loans and grants is keen to make students at Universities and Colleges in England aware of the danger they face from online ‘phishing’ scams and to remind them that they will never request a customer’s personal or banking details by email or text message.
Over the last three Septembers alone, Student Finance England’s dedicated Counter Fraud and Security teams have prevented over £1.5 million of students’ initial maintenance payments being stolen through ‘phishing’ scams aimed primarily at freshers.
To receive their initial payments, students need to sign and return their online declaration forms and enrol on their courses for their university or college to confirm their attendance.  Online fraudsters aware that students are receiving their funding target them with emails and texts requesting personal and banking details to access their finance.

SFE  has some ‘top tips’ for freshers to help them identify potential fraudulent emails:
•    Be suspicious of any requests for personal or financial information.  SLC or Student Finance England (SFE) will never ask you to confirm your bank details or login information by email.
•    Phishing emails are often sent in bulk and are unlikely to contain both your first and last; the commonly start, ‘Dear Student’.
•    Check the quality of the communication - misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often tell-tale signs of phishing
•    'Failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed' these types of messages are designed to convey a sense of urgency to prompt a quick response.

Heather Laing, Head of Counter Fraud Services for SFE and the Student Loans Company (SLC) advises:
“We are passionate about our customers and as such it’s our aim to empower as many students in the in England with the knowledge they need to fight back fraudsters and stop scammers in their tracks.  As well as reminding students that we will never ask for their personal information via email, we also want to encourage students to be mindful of the personal information about themselves they post online and on social media too."

Find out more about Staying Safe Online at