Person holding a mobile phone and a credit cardUniversity students taking part-time jobs are at increased risk of falling victim to scams, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning.

Higher numbers of students going to university this year means more young people may choose to take on part-time work. Being new to interacting with HMRC and unfamiliar with genuine contact from the department could make them vulnerable to scams.

In the past year almost 1 million people reported scams to HMRC.

Nearly half of all tax scams offer fake tax refunds, which HMRC does not offer by SMS or email. The criminals involved are usually trying to steal money or personal information to sell on to others. HMRC is a familiar brand, which scammers abuse to add credibility to their scams.

Links or files in emails or texts can also download dangerous software onto a computer or phone. This can then gather personal data or lock the recipient’s machine until they pay a ransom.

Between April and May this year, 18 to 24-year olds reported more than 5,000 phone scams to HMRC.

Mike Fell, Head of Cyber Security Operations at HMRC, said:

“Most students won’t have paid tax before, and so could easily be duped by scam texts, emails or calls either offering a ‘refund’ or demanding unpaid tax.

“Students, who will have had little or no interaction with the tax system might be tricked into clicking on links in such emails or texts.

“Our advice is to be wary if you are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. We see high numbers of fraudsters contacting people claiming to be from HMRC. If in doubt, our advice is – do not reply directly to anything suspicious, but contact HMRC through GOV.UK straight away and search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.”

HMRC’s advice is:

Stop:

  • Take a moment to think before parting with your money or information.
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.
  • Do not trust caller ID on phones. Numbers can be spoofed.

Challenge:

Protect:

  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. Report scam phone calls on GOV.UK.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud (in Scotland, contact the police on 101).

 

Monday September 13th, 2021

Posted In: Messages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events


© Swansea University

Hosted by Information Services and Systems, Swansea University