University students are being targeted by scammers with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details, warns HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
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 HMRC has seen on students with thousands of fraud attempts being reported in just a few weeks across the UK.
HMRC 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.
Often HMRC related email scams 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.