Students are being warned of an email scam attempting to trick people into handing over their personal information.
As students prepare to head off for the new academic year, Action Fraud and the Student Loans Company are warning of a phishing scam that claims to be from the student loan provider.
The phishing email has come to light over the last two weeks and claims that Student Loans Company accounts have been suspended due to incomplete student information.
It urges the recipient to update their details using a web link which then leads to a fake website with the aim of harvesting personal details. Action Fraud said the Student Loans Company has confirmed the email is not genuine.
The scam is believed to target both new and current university students. But Action Fraud says there have been incidents where people who have never applied for student finance have also received the email.
Action Fraud is run by the City of London Police and is the UK's national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.
Detective chief inspector Andy Fyfe of the City of London Police said: "This phishing email displays a number of tell-tale signs of a scam including spelling and grammar errors.
"As the new university year begins, we are urging people to be especially cautious of emails that request personal details. Always contact your bank if you believe you have fallen victim to a scam."
Here are some tips from Action Fraud to protect against phishing emails:
:: If an email asks you to make a payment, log in to an online account or offers you a deal, be cautious. Real banks never email you for passwords or any other sensitive information by clicking on a link and visiting a website. If you get a call from someone who claims to be from your bank, do not give away any personal details.
:: Make sure your spam filter is on your emails. If you find a suspect email, mark it as spam and delete it to keep out similar emails in future.
:: If in doubt, check it is genuine by asking the company itself. Never follow links provided in suspect emails, find the official website or customer support number using a separate browser and search engine.
:: Signs of a scam email include poor spelling, grammar, design or image quality. They may use odd spellings or capitals in the email subject to fool the spam filter.
:: If scammers know your email address but not your name an email may start with something like: "To our valued customer", or "Dear..." followed by your email address.
:: Authentic website addresses are often short and do not use irrelevant words or phrases.
People who have been affected by a scam can report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040. The Action Fraud website also has a web chat service.