Over 200 'Malicious Communications' Offences Reported Daily
Malicious communication is defined as sending a letter, or electronic communication, with intent to cause distress or anxiety.
HMRC is warning university students to be wary of potential scams, especially if they have a part-time job and are new to interacting with the department.
University students taking part-time jobs are at increased risk of falling victim to scams, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning.
Higher numbers of students going to university this year means more young people may choose to take on part-time work. Being new to interacting with HMRC and unfamiliar with genuine contact from the department could make them vulnerable to scams.
In the past year almost one million people reported scams to HMRC.
Nearly half of all tax scams offer fake tax refunds, which HMRC does not offer by SMS or email. The criminals involved are usually trying to steal money or personal information to sell on to others. HMRC is a familiar brand, which scammers abuse to add credibility to their scams.
Links or files in emails or texts can also download dangerous software onto a computer or phone. This can then gather personal data or lock the recipient's machine until they pay a ransom.
Between April and May this year, 18 to 24-year olds reported more than 5,000 phone scams to HMRC.
In the last year (September 2020 to August 2021) HMRC has:
By June this year, more than 680,000 students had applied to university, and over 900,000 held part time jobs during the 2020 to 2021 academic year.
Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599. Report scam phone calls via GOV.UK.