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HM Revenue and Customs warning about scammers

Monday 20 May 2019 NUS News

University students are being targeted again by scammers with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning.

The scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses (for example, ‘’) to avoid detection.

The email targets each student individually. The sender’s email address is often dependent on which university the student is at. For example, if attending Cambridge, you might get one from, which look very legitimate.


If you receive one of these messages it is a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address.


HMRC-related email scams often spoof the branding of GOV.UK and of well-known credit cards in an attempt to look authentic. The recipient’s name and email address can be included several times within the email itself.

Fraudulent emails and texts often include links that take students to websites where their information will be stolen.

HMRC advice:

  • Recognise the signs - genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details. 
  • Stay safe - don’t give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting. 
  • Take action - forward details of suspicious calls claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599, or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool, especially if you suffer financial loss.
  • 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/bogus email or text message, you can check it against the examples shown in this guide .