University students are being targeted by scammers with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned.
The scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses (for example ‘@uc.ac.uk’) in order to avoid detection.
This is the largest direct attack the HMRC said it has seen on students with thousands of fraud attempts being reported in just a few weeks across the UK. So far tax scams are understood to have targeted students at hundreds of universities including establishments in Aberdeen, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Imperial College London, King’s College London, Manchester Metropolitan, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Queen Mary (London), Queen’s (Belfast), Southampton, Sussex, University College London, Warwick.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, said: “HMRC will never inform you about tax refunds by email, text or voicemail. If you receive one of these messages it is a scam.
“Do not click on any links in these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address.
“Although HMRC is cracking down hard on internet scams, criminals will stop at nothing to steal personal information. I’d encourage all students to become phishing aware – it could save you a lot of money.”
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: “Devious fraudsters will try every trick in the book to convince victims to hand over their personal information, often with devastating consequences. It is vital that students spot the signs of fraudulent emails to avoid falling victim by following HMRC’s advice.
“Together with HMRC, we work tirelessly to stop fraudsters in their tracks and to prevent unsuspecting members of the public from falling victim to fraud.”
HMRC said it is working with and encouraging all universities to raise awareness of scams and many have already begun taking action to warn their students of the risks.
They said HMRC-related email scams often spoof the branding of GOV.UK and well known credit cards in attempt to look authentic. The recipient’s name and email address may be included several times within the email itself.
Fraudulent emails and texts will regularly include links which take students to websites where their information can be stolen. Between April and September this year, HMRC requested that 7,500 of these phishing sites be deactivated. This compares to around 5,200 requests during the same period in 2017.
HMRC phishing advice:
* recognise the signs – genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details
* stay safe – do not give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting
* take action – forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to [email protected] and texts to 60599
* If you suffer financial loss, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool
Crime Stories In Plymouth
Do you have a crime story to share or for us to investigate?
Want to read more?
- George Conway blasts Trump as 'blundering cheat' trying to 'delegitimize the vote' with mail-in ballot claims
- Donald Trump: Democrats Want to Use Coronavirus Aid Bill to Steal the Election
- Free tax filing: How to file online without paying add-on charges
- GTU MBA student logs in, out 19 times during online exam
- Ramona S. Diaz’s ‘A Thousand Cuts’ Fights For Freedom Of Press In The Philippines, Stellan Skarsgård’s ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Debuts – Specialty Streaming Preview
- Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause
- Payroll Tax Cut May Be Permanent, Trump Says
- Coronavirus has already dealt a blow to Social Security's finances. Trump's payroll tax holiday could make it worse
- Cambodian Tax Boss Hits Back at Al Jazeera
- Only 50% students pay annual fees at Delhi’s tech varsity by deadline
- Students who defy traditional gender stereotypes do better in school
- Coronavirus live updates: Newsom pushes tax relief for small businesses, including ‘hiring tax credit’
- Streaming This Weekend: An American Pickle, The Tax Collector and More
- Joe Biden says Donald Trump is waging a 'reckless war' on Social Security with payroll tax holiday while Nancy Pelosi blasts the president's relief orders as 'weak' and 'meager'
- A Shady Gun Company Cheated Death and Cashed In
- Red Dead Redemption 2 cheats: every cheat code for the frontier
- Highway robbery: Bay Area carpool cheats on the rise
- Payroll tax cut on menu in coronavirus aid talks, McCarthy says
- Republicans Can’t Win Presidential Elections Anymore, but They Sure Can Steal Them
- 'Out Stealing Horses' Director on Embracing Nature (and Stellan Skarsgard)
Tax cheats are trying to steal students' earnings have 844 words, post on www.plymouthherald.co.uk at November 17, 2018. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.