Uni stu­dents tar­geted in tax scams

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

FRAUD­STERS are bom­bard­ing univer­sity stu­dents across the coun­try with large num­bers of fake tax re­fund emails, HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC) is warn­ing.

HMRC said it is the first time it has seen a tax scam at­tack di­rectly tar­get­ing univer­sity stu­dents in such high vol­umes.

The tax au­thor­ity has re­ceived thou­sands of fraud re­ports in just a few weeks from stu­dents at col­leges across the UK. The scam­mers use seem­ingly le­git­i­mate univer­sity email ad­dresses to ap­pear con­vinc­ing – such as “@uc.ac.uk”.

Fake emails may prom­ise peo­ple they are owed some money in an at­tempt to ob­tain their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

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

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

Tax scams are tar­get­ing stu­dents at hun­dreds of uni­ver­si­ties, HMRC said. It said it is en­cour­ag­ing all uni­ver­si­ties to raise aware­ness of scams, and many have al­ready started tak­ing ac­tion to warn their stu­dents of the risks.

HMRC is en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to be aware of the po­ten­tial tax scams. It said it has had rel­a­tively high vol­umes of re­ports to its “phish­ing” ser­vice re­lat­ing to the fol­low­ing uni­ver­si­ties: Aberdeen, Bris­tol, Cam­bridge, Durham, Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don, King’s Col­lege Lon­don, Man­ches­ter Met­ro­pol­i­tan, New­cas­tle, Not­ting­ham, Ply­mouth, Queen Mary (Lon­don), Queen’s (Belfast), Southamp­ton, Sus­sex, UCL and War­wick.

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