Students in the region are being targeted by fraudsters trying to steal their third loan instalment.

According to the Student Loans Company, which is responsible for paying grants and loans to eligible students, fraudulent emails are being sent to students asking for personal or bank details.

The Student Loans Company has stressed today that that it will never request these details by email.

The number of students revealing their details to the scammers has more than tripled in the last year and the emails are rife in April and May, as fraudsters know students are due to receive their final funds for the academic year.

The SLC has united with 'Get Safe Online' to produce a 'phishing guide' and top tips to promote online student safety and protection against scam emails.

Student Loans Company's security manager Robert Hurt said: "We are aware some students from the North West are being affected by these scam emails and we want to ensure that they do not respond to these.

"We monitor this issue very closely and aim to close phishing sites down as soon as students alert us to them, to protect other students.

"Students need to work with us to ensure their identity and financial details are protected and not compromised."