Students warned over account scam
Students have been warned to be on their guard against fraudsters trying to trick them into revealing their bank account details.
Student Finance England, which administers and processes England-based students' loans and grants, said it typically sees a rise in phishing attacks at this time of year.
The scams involve fraudsters sending out emails that look as if they have come from Student Finance England, asking students to provide their account details so that payments can be made to them.
The group said it has closed down around 50 phishing sites during the past year - double the number it closed down in 2008.
Heather Laing, fraud manager at Student Finance England, said: "Students are likely to receive a great deal of correspondence from Student Finance England at this time, with payment schedule letters or letters requesting further information coming through the door.
"Scammers exploit this increased contact from the company, and some students may fall victim to an email request that looks to be from Student Finance England or the Student Loans Company asking for confirmation of bank details.
"However, we will never ask students to confirm their bank details via email. If they do receive such a request, they should forward it on to us to investigate."
The National Union of Students is supporting the group's campaign to warn students about the scam.
Aaron Porter, NUS president, said: "We're working with Student Finance England to help spread the word about scam emails as it's important that students are protected.
"One of the best ways to protect yourself is to remove your email address if it's online or hide it on social networking sites, if you use them."