STUDENTS are being urged to be extra vigilant against becoming the latest victims of cyber crime.
Thousands of students at university will receive their first loan and bursary instalments this month-making them instant targets for cyber criminals looking to ensnare them in identity theft and online scams.
As part of a drive to warn against the dangers of online crime, e-Crime Scotland with the support of Get Safe Online, Student Loans Company and Student Awards Agency for Scotland is raising awareness of how students can protect themselves.
Gary Ritchie, assistant director at Scottish Business Crime Centre (SBCC), said that by taking a few simple steps students could protect themselves against the heartache and often serious consequences caused by the actions of cyber criminals.
He added: “It’s common knowledge that students often have a spending splurge as soon as their loans or bursaries hit their bank accounts and they will no doubt make the most of their new social lives but they must tread carefully before making any ominous transactions or sharing their personal details.
“One of the biggest threats is identity theft which is now one of the fastest growing crimes in the United Kingdom and is costing victims over £1.3 billion annually.
“The problem is that students may not initially be concerned about identity theft as often they don’t consider themselves to have a lot of money or assets.”