The government has warned students of a new scam going around this freshers.
Scammers are getting advanced these days. While it might be easy to say you’d never fall for a scam, the scams are getting more and more elaborate with scammers targeting specific or vulnerable groups in ways they know will catch their attention.
With this, the start of a new uni term is the perfect time for these scammers to try and get their hands on some of your student loans by posing as student finance themselves.
As most students will receive a text from student finance to alert you of your upcoming payment or of any activity on your account, it’s all too easy for these scammers to get your attention by saying you need to urgently update your details or you risk not being paid your student loan.
What should I look out for?
The Student Loans Company has issued new advice for students when it comes to these text message or phone scams by keeping an eye out for the following:
- Messages that convey a sense of urgency as these are unlikely to be genuine eg. “Failure to respond within the next 24 hours will result in your account being closed”
- The quality of the communication- spelling errors and typos are often a giveaway sign that the message is fake
- Links in text messages or emails- the SLC has advised to hover over a link before you open it to see where it leads and never to click any links you’re unsure of
- Messages that start with “Dear Student”- this is because scam texts or emails are sent in bulk and are unlikely to include both your first or last name (however, they could include your first name) so it’s best to be wary of these
- Keep an eye out and double-check any comms you receive around the times you’re due a payment
- To contact SLC directly via their official website, social media channels or phone number if you have any questions or queries
- To be wary of any fraudulent phone calls impersonating SLC and what information you are giving up
- To be mindful of the information you share on social media to help prevent identity theft- your name, date of birth, course information and current or past addresses can all help someone to impersonate you
SLC also warned that they will never ask students for personal or financial information via text message or email, and do not use WhatsApp or social media channels to discuss a student finance application. The best advice is to login to your account on the SLC website to see any comms and contact them on their official phone number to discuss any concerns or queries.
If you do receive any fraudulent text messages or emails you can report it by emailing FCPU_Alerts@slc.co.uk who will try and find the source or the scam.
Of course, some scams are super easy to spot but the level of sophistication is easy to fall for, especially when you’re already expecting a large amount of money to be paid into your bank account! So, keep an eye out this freshers and spread the word to your friends to help them stay militant too.