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  1. ITV Report

Cambridge students targeted in tax scam

Fraudsters have been bombarding students at Cambridge University with fake emails telling them they have a tax refund due.

The emails promise the students they are owed the money, however they're really an attempt to get personal information.

Cambridge students targeted in tax scam Credit: PA Wire

HMRC says it's had thousands of fraud reports in the last few weeks with a particularly high number from Cambridge students and says it would never ask for details in an email.

The scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses to appear convincing - such as "@uc.ac.uk".

They may appear to suggest to students that their university has been informed that they are due a tax rebate from HMRC.

Cambridge students targeted in tax scam Credit: PA Wire

Fraudulent emails and texts will regularly include links which take students to websites where their information can be stolen.

HMRC says it has used cutting-edge technology to block half a billion phishing emails since 2016.

"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."

– Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Here are HMRC's tips to avoid being caught out by "phishing" scam emails:

  • 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 were not expecting.
  • Take action. Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and texts to 60599.
  • If you suffer financial loss, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool.
  • Check gov.uk for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact