North East students warned of scam emails as fraudsters target loan payments

The Student Loans Company has issued the warning.
The Student Loans Company has issued the warning.

Students across the North East region are being warned of the dangers of scam emails and malicious text messages.

The Student Loans Company is calling for young people to be on their guard ahead of their final student loan instalment being paid, as fraudsters may look to target them and get their financial details.

Students are being reminded not to click into suspicious links in emails or in text messages, as these could allow people carrying out scams to install malware on their devices.

Fraudsters often target students with bogus emails and messages around the three loan instalment periods in September, January and April.

Fiona Innes, Head of Counter Fraud Services at the Student Loans Company, said: "We want to remind customers that we will never request a customer’s personal or banking details by email or text message.

"Anyone who receives a scam email about student finance should send it to us at phishing@slc.co.uk, as this allows us to close the site down and stop students from being caught out.

"Online fraudsters are aware that students are receiving their next instalment soon and may target them and their sponsors with emails and texts requesting personal and banking details to access their finance.

"We want to remind students and their sponsors to stay vigilant with the details they provide online and to be mindful of the personal information about themselves they post online and on social media too."

The Student Loans Company administers student finance on behalf of the Government and devolved administrations across the UK.

In the last two years, the company's counter fraud services team stopped more than half a million pounds of student funding being stolen through phishing scams.

Tips to spot a fraudulent email or text include being suspicious of any request for personal or financial information and checking for poor spelling, punctuation and grammar, as these are tell-tale signs of phishing.

• Anyone who receives a suspicious email they think may be a scam should send it to phishing@slc.co.uk. SLC can investigate the site and ensure it is shut down, to help protect other students.