Police have arrested four men and two women in connection with a scam which targeted students, purporting to be from the Student Loans Company.
The scam invited students to update their details in an email which contained a link to a phoney site.
This led to students revealing their bank details, which the crooks then used to withdraw large amounts of cash once the student loans had been paid in.
Hundreds of unsuspecting students fell for the scam and it is thought that the criminals made more than £1 million from the scheme.
A five month investigation by the Met’s e-Crime unit, who also worked with the loan company, banks and ISPs led to the arrests made on Thursday.
“A great deal of personal information was compromised and cleverly exploited for substantial profits. We have today disrupted a suspected organised group of cyber criminals and prevented further loss to individuals and institutions in the UK,” said Detective Inspector Mark Raymond from the e-Crime unit.
“Today’s arrests demonstrate what can be achieved when a partnership approach is adopted to investigate internet-based crime.”
The criminals withdrew the cash in sums of between £1000 and £5000.
It is not yet known whether the phishing mails targeted students specifically or if it was a widespread phishing campaign.