The Student Loans Company (SLC) has published an alert urging students to be aware of an increase in smishing scams regarding student maintenance payments. It is important to remember that the SLC will never ask you to provide your personal or financial information via email or text message.
Cyber criminals have been impersonating the SLC via telephone calls (vishing), emails (phishing) and text messages (smishing) asking students to click on a link to change their bank details.
Think you have been on the receiving end of one of these messages?
If you receive a suspicious message, report it to SLC’s Financial Crime Prevention Unit immediately by emailing [email protected] or calling the dedicated hotline on 0300 100 0059. Additional advice and information on how to recognise and avoid scams can be found on the Action Fraud website, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.
Here are a few top tips to help you identify scams and stay safe:
- Phishing and smishing messages are often sent in bulk to many people at the same time and are unlikely to contain both your first and last name. These commonly start with - ‘Dear Student’ - so be on guard if you see one like this.
- Messages that convey a sense of urgency are also unlikely to be genuine – for example ‘failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed’ is very suspicious.
- If you receive an email or text that contains a link you are not sure of, hover over it to reveal the true destination. If it was not what you were expecting, do not click the link.
- If you are suspicious of an email or text message, contact the provider via their official and verified telephone number to investigate the legitimacy of the message.
- Be mindful of the information you share online as it can be used by cyber criminals to create more realistic cyber-attacks.
If you receive a suspicious email via your BU student account, please report this to the IT Service Desk for investigation.
If you have any queries about any of the above, please contact the IT Service Desk on (01202 9)65515 or freephone 0808 196 2332.