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).
In recent months, HMRC has seen the emergence of various scams targeting several UK universities and in particular, international students.
HMRC issued the following advice:
- Genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your pin, password or bank details
- Do not give out private information, reply to text or What's App messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you were not expecting
- Forward suspect emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599
- Check gov.uk for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact.
- If you think you have received an HMRC-related phishing or bogus email or text message, you can check it against examples published on gov.uk
- Contact your bank immediately if you believe you have submitted card details to a scammer and report to Action Fraud if you suffer financial loss.
Often HMRC related email and message scams spoof the branding of gov.uk and well known credit cards in attempt to look authentic. Fraudulent emails and messages will regularly include links which take students to websites where their information can be stolen.
If you think that you've fallen victim to a financial scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool. If you receive any suspicious emails you can report these to BU IT Services or send as an attachment via email@example.com. Read our top tips on how to be cybercrime aware.