Phishing Scams: How you can avoid them


There have been reports of phishing messages being sent by text, so we want to make sure you know how to spot and report them. Keep in mind, the Student Loans Company will never ask you to email or text your bank details.

How to spot a scam

‘Phishing’ is any activity designed to trick you into giving out your personal details such as usernames and passwords – this is normally done by email or text message. Criminals can then use these details to sign in to your online account, steal information and potentially take your money.

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

  1. Check the quality of the communication. Misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often tell-tale signs of phishing.
  2. Keep an eye out for any emails, phone calls or text messages you think are suspicious, especially around the time you’re expecting a payment.
  3. Scam emails and text messages are often sent in bulk to many people at the same time. They're unlikely to contain both your first and last name. These commonly start ‘Dear Student’ so be on guard if you see one like this.
  4. ‘Failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed’ - these types of messages are designed to create a sense of urgency to prompt a quick response.
  5. Think before you click. If you receive an email or text that contains a link you’re not sure of, hover over it to check it goes where it’s supposed to. If you’re still in any doubt, do not risk it. Always go direct to the source rather than following a potentially dangerous link.
  6. Scammers can use a variety of methods to try get students to pay money or share their personal details. These include fraudulent phone calls, social posts and direct messaging on digital platforms. If you're suspicious, always use official phone numbers, your online account and other official communication channels to verify the contact you received is genuine.
  7. Be mindful of the information you share about yourself on social media and elsewhere online. This will help to guard against identity theft. Identity theft happens when fraudsters get enough information about a person to impersonate them online and over the phone. This can include their name, date of birth, customer reference number, course information and current or previous addresses.
  8. Check out our guide to identifying a phishing scam for more information.

Students in England and Wales should be aware that whenever their bank details are changed, they'll receive a text message from Student Finance England or Student Finance Wales to confirm the change. 

If you have not changed their details but receive a message, you should sign into your online account to review your information. You should also get in contact using an official telephone number as you could be the victim of identity theft. Future payments may be blocked if you do not.

If you get an email about student finance that you think is a scam you should send it to [email protected]. This allows us to close the site down and stop students from being caught out.

If you receive a phone call you think is part of a vishing scam, email [email protected]. This will help protect your account and keep your personal details secure.