Students targeted in Susi bogus email scam
The Susi grant scheme closed down the banking section of its website for the weekend after fraudsters set up a copycat site targeting students.
The site can be reached by clicking on a spam email which tells students they need to update their bank details.
It asks users to provide their username and password and then proceeds to request bank details.
A spokesman for Susi said the email and website looked very legitimate and that it had closed down the bank details section of the genuine site until Monday as a precautionary measure.
The email includes the Susi logo, but has spelling and grammatical errors, along with a link to the insecure website.
Susi was made aware of the issue on Thursday evening, after being contacted by two individuals - neither of whom had been applying for the grant.
"Our support desk got a call and we also were notified on social media from another person, neither of them were Susi applicants but had received this email," he said.
"We've disabled the bank details section on the account, and it will be like that for the weekend, so people won't be able to put in or change bank details. We'll monitor it over the next week and make sure that there's no suspicious activity going on," he added.
The spokesman said that the authorities had been made aware of the issue.
"The gardaí have been notified as well as the Data Protection Commissioner. It's a precautionary measure," said the spokesman.
"When you click on the link, it looks as if it's bringing you to grantsonline.ie and it asks you for your username and password and then the next step is bank details.
"These would be your bank account number, your PPSN, your sort code and your date of birth.
"It may look like it's our website, but there's no secure lock on the web browser, whereas our own one shows that it's a secure site."