HMRC warn of tax scams targeting university students

Newsletter issue - December 2018

HMRC have published a series of warnings that university students are being targeted by scammers with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details.

The scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses (for example '@uc.ac.uk') in order to avoid detection, and HMRC have received thousands of fraud reports from students at colleges across the UK.

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

HMRC never inform people about potential tax refunds by email, text or voicemail. Therefore, if someone does receive such a notification, they can be certain that it is a scam. People should not click on any links in these messages, and they should be forwarded to HMRC's phishing email address (phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk).

HMRC are taking action 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 an 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. Last year HMRC deactivated more than 20,000 fake HMRC websites, an increase of 29% on the previous year.

To avoid falling foul of the scams, people should:

Individuals who are the victim of an attempted fraud can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report the fraud using their online tool.

Get a fixed quote

Fixed prices for agreed services

FAIR FEE POLICY. We believe you should always be in control of your fees with no surprises. You are entitled to a competitive fixed quote for agreed services, which is exactly what we charge, not a penny more. Most clients choose this option although if you prefer to pay an hourly rate we can arrange that too.

To receive a fixed quote for your specific circumstances either arrange a Free No Obligation Consultation or submit the form below. The form is designed for most of the routine accountancy services. If you require something more specialist, please contact us directly. If necessary we will contact you for further information.

If you are a new start up business, please use estimates. Full quotes are provided within 2 working days.

FIXED QUOTE REQUEST FORM »

Make more, keep more, work less

Get the right advice and take action

MAKE MORE

Have clear goals including long, medium and short term for what you want to achieve and develop a roadmap to get you there... read more »


KEEP MORE

Use our Tax Planning Service to ensure you don’t pay a penny more in tax than is necessary... read more »


WORK LESS

Work ON your business and not IN your business - work ON your systems so the systems run the business and your people run the systems, leaving you free to have more holidays... read more »

Start Up

Are you looking to start a new business?

Choose your business size to see how we can help you

Small

Key points for our small business clients to know

Choose your business size to see how we can help you

Medium

Help and assistance for medium sized businesses

Choose your business size to see how we can help you

Large

See our extensive range of services for your needs

Choose your business size to see how we can help you