DS got odd e-mail from student loans company - anyone else had this or know what's going on?

(11 Posts)
EmmaWoodlouse Sun 12-Jun-16 18:21:21

DS1 has just finished his first year at uni. The very day he came home, he had an e-mail from the student loans company asking him to phone them as they needed some information from him, and delaying in doing it might mean he didn't get his money on time. We thought it might be a scam at first as (1) they never normally ask him to phone, everything is done by either online forms or paper forms, (2) the subject line was just a string of letters and numbers and you'd think if it was that urgent they'd put Urgent and something to do with student loans in the subject line, (3) we can't think what they'd need to know from him, as opposed to us, since we're the ones who have to list our earnings, etc. But he hasn't had a letter yet saying what amount they're giving him next year (DS2, who's starting uni in the autumn, has had his) so we thought there was a chance it was legit. He logged on to his account and the phone number he had to ring was the real one. He rang this morning and just got a recorded message saying he needs to watch a video on their website. He hasn't done that yet (he's been out) but he will. But it still all seems a bit odd to me, so I wondered if anyone else's DC has had the same thing happen, and what the outcome was.

FruitCider Sun 12-Jun-16 18:27:02

Just find the number for SLC on the web and see if the number matches the email. If it does, it's genuine, and if not, put it in the trash can! If in doubt go to the SLC website and ring them on that number asking them if they sent you an email.

My gut feeling is its a scam.

FruitCider Sun 12-Jun-16 18:28:48

Oh sorry I just read the rest of your message! He just needs to watch the video x

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 12-Jun-16 19:59:05

There's a lot of scams out there , my uni sent out warnings

EmmaWoodlouse Sun 12-Jun-16 20:54:23

Thanks! It still seems a bit odd that he's got to watch a video if he needs to give them information, but at least he won't lose anything by doing it. We were initially concerned that they were going to ask for all his banking details.

Becca19962014 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:03:56

To find out how sent it he needs to click forward and look at the senders address (this is a good clue to if it is legitimate).

How did he access the SLC website? Did he open the browser and type in the address by hand/Google for it or did he use a link in the email? Using a link in the email wouldn't prove anything as it would direct to a (very convincing) dummy SLC website.

SLC, unless they have changed recently (and they might have!) DO NOT put messages on their phones, they just ring until someone answers.

He needs to telephone the general number for SLC tommorow morning and ask their advice. Tell him NOT watch any videos.

This sounds like a typical data grabbing scam to me. No way would I trust this.

Becca19962014 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:09:52

You don't know he won't lose anything, if he logs into a dodgy duplicate site then they can have access to his information because he has just given it to them by logging in to their website.

The video could plant a virus on his equipment can data grab something important e.g. If he does Internet banking.

Believe me dodgy duplicate sites are very very like the originals (including a legitimate looking url) and very hard to spot I've worked in this area - in terms of shutting them down they are very very convincing. The days of rubbish websites with incorrect spellings etc are long gone.

I had my identity stolen, hence probably sounding paranoid in my responses. Honestly he needs to telephone the general SLC number to find out what's going on. Hopefully I'm wrong and it's fine, but it sounds like a scam to me.

Bails2014 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:11:32

When he checked the SLC website did he follow a link in the email?

The number I used for SLC is Tel: 0300 100 0607 so just make sure that's the number you called (They owed me money!! I know!! Happy days!)

HiddenMeaning Mon 13-Jun-16 00:25:26

Just to be on the safe side he should log on to his student loan account and change his password. He should double check all his details especially his email and contact details.

Don't follow a link unless it's 100% legit (eg UCAS ) and double check it's correct.

HiddenMeaning Mon 13-Jun-16 00:28:11

HERE is info from STUDENT LOANS COMPANY on phishing

EmmaWoodlouse Mon 13-Jun-16 19:52:57

Just to let you all know, he phoned the number (which was the one on the e-mail but also the same as the one bails posted above) and this time he got through to an actual human and explained what had happened. We think the recorded message must have been something they put on there outside office hours (it was Sunday when he first tried to phone) and the video (which he didn't watch in the end) was probably very general information for people going through the process for the first time.

It turned out they just wanted to check whether he still lived at this address as they'd had some post returned (which would also explain why he hasn't had a letter about next year's loan yet). I'd forwarded some post to him in hall and I guess that either went astray somehow or he forgot to ask for it from the post room and it eventually got sent back. He only had to say yes to the question, not give the address again.

He didn't have to give any bank details or anything like that. I think everything's OK.

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