Guidance

Phishing scams: how you can avoid them

We want you to be aware of what phishing is and how to stop fraudsters from getting your personal details.

What is phishing?

‘Phishing’ is any activity designed to trick you into giving out your personal details such as usernames and passwords. Fraudsters can then use these details to log in to your online account, steal information and potentially take your money.

How to spot a phishing scam?

Phishing scams can happen at any time but students are often targeted around payment dates at the start of term. Here are some of our top tips to spot them:

  1. Phishing emails are often sent in bulk and are unlikely to contain both your first and last name, they commonly start: ‘Dear Student’.

  2. Check the quality of the communication - misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are common signs of bogus emails or text messages.

  3. Look out for messages that express a sense of urgency like ‘failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed’.

How to avoid phishing scams?

For lots of people, using the internet makes up a major part of their day. We’ve put together some tips to help you stay safe online:

  • Keep an eye out for any emails or SMS messages you think are suspicious, especially around the time you’re expecting a payment.

  • You shouldn’t post messages online that let people know you’re getting your student finance payment soon, this could make you a target for online fraudsters.

  • Always ensure that you’re using a secure website when submitting sensitive information online and don’t post personal info on social media pages.

  • Avoid logging in to your student finance account on public networks or computers.

If you get an email about student finance that you think is a scam you should send it to us at phishing@slc.co.uk. This allows us to close the site down and stop students from being caught out.

Who is the Student Loans Company (SLC)?

SLC oversees student finance on behalf of the government and devolved administrations across the UK. They are the parent organisation of Student Finance England (SFE), Student Finance Wales (SFW) and Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFni).

Published 11 October 2019
Last updated 29 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Removal of reference to 'we will never ask for personal/bank details via email'. Removal of link to SLC film.
  2. First published.