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Beware of tax refund phishing campaign targeting students

There have been reports of a number of tax scams targeting university students across the country. Please take extra care when opening emails from unknown sources or from a known source but with unknown/suspicious content.


HMRC have reported that scammers are targeting students with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details. The scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses (for example ‘’) in order to avoid detection, and may use your name several times within the email.

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:

What to do if you suspect you have been targeted by a phishing email

  • 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 messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting.
  • Take action – forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.
  • If you suffer financial loss, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool.
  • Check GOV.UK for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact.

If you have any concerns, you can also call the IT Service Desk on 020 7882 8888. Free cyber security awareness training is also available for students on QMplus – just search for cyber and information security.



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