Fraudsters bombard thousands of uni students across the country with fake tax refund emails saying they are owed cash

HMRC is warning scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses to appear convincing – such as "".

But the emails and texts will then include links which take students to websites where their information can then be stolen.

HMRC said they are targeting students at hundreds of universities.

Those studying at Cambridge, Durham and Imperial College London have all been affected by the scam.

The tax office said it is the first time it has seen such an attack directly targeting university students in such high volumes.

They say they have received thousands of fraud reports in just a few weeks from students at colleges across the UK.

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

What unis have been affected by the fake tax refund emails?

Aberdeen, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Imperial College London, King's College London, Manchester Metropolitan, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Queen Mary (London), Queen's (Belfast), Southampton, Sussex, University College London and Warwick are all said to have been by the scam.

HMRC has also had reports relating to other universities.

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

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride said: "HMRC will never inform you about tax refunds by email, text or voicemail.

"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's tips to avoid being caught out by scam emails

  • 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. Do not give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you were not expecting.
  • Take action. Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to [email protected] and texts to 60599.
  • If you suffer financial loss, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool.
  • Check for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact.

We reported how shop owners have warned about scam job ads which con people into apply for roles that do not exist.

And earlier this year, The Sun revealed how hundreds of Brits have been scammed out of cash by bogus charities. 

You can also listen to the scary HMRC scam where fraudsters claim there's a warrant out for your arrest. 


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