From April to May this year, 18 to 24-year olds reported over 5,000 phone-related scams to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
With this in mind, HMRC is now warning university students who have part-time jobs of the risks of falling victim to scams.
Recent data reveals that there are even higher numbers of students going to university this year, many of which are choosing to take on part-time employment to support their finances.
For many of these students, those new jobs might be their first paid role. Therefore, they could be unfamiliar with HMRC interactions and not knowing whether the contact they receive from individuals claiming to be HMRC is genuine or not can leave them vulnerable to scams.
What student scams are out there?
During the last year alone, almost one million people reported scams to HMRC.
Most of these scams were tax-related, half of which were offering false tax refunds.
However, HMRC does not offer these refunds via SMS or email!
What should I look out for?
HMRC is a very common organisation that scammers abuse to add ‘credibility’ to their scams, with most fraudsters trying to steal money or personal information from individuals to then sell on to other criminals.
Files and links in these fraudulent emails or texts can also download dangerous software onto devices once opened or clicked. These are used to then gather personal data or lock the victim’s device until they pay a ransom.
If you think you have received a fraudulent message from a scammer claiming to be HMRC, then please contact them at your earliest convenience. You can check a list of genuine HMRC contacts here.
For information or advice on related matters, please do not hesitate to call us. We have dealt with many similar issues and are here to ensure your money and personal information is safe.