Tax Email Scam Hits Royal Holloway’s Student Emails

Editor | Cassandra Lau

The number of e-mails that have had to go through quarantine@messaging.microsoft.com has been mind-blowing this academic year. Even e-mails from other U.K universities have been quarantined, so it came to my surprise when I received an email like this (without being quarantined):

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 03.48.50.png

Careless, or gullible? As a student, I am used to receiving letters from the post stating the deduction of all tax, so when I received this email stating that certain measures had to be taken, I immediately clicked on the link.

The page seemed authentic enough as you can see from below:

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 03.53.59.png

They even nailed the format:

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 03.54.55.png

But as you can see on the search bar, it writes landscapingofamerica – either someone really didn’t pay attention in Geography class or messed up big time. Anyhow, thanks to that someone, I realised that it was a scam.

Who knows how badly infected my laptop is by now from clicking onto these links for screenshots, but here it is ladies and gents, beware of the above.

What if I clicked onto the link?

According to HMRC,

forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address and phone number

I would also encourage you to forward them to RHUL I.T. as such scams could be avoided with greater precaution from the department. As a university, full-time students are most vulnerable to such scams as it is not an uncommon occurrence to have to deal with a full tax refund.

Haven’t had a reply yet, but will update students if any new information comes my way.

The situation

Last year, HMRC warns on tax refund scams as fraudsters have been

“sending scam emails and SMS-messages that promise tac rebates to trick people into disclosing their account and personal details”

As tax authority were processing tax refunds after the end of 2017 to 2018 tax year, fraudsters have been taking advantage of it by sending out scam emails and SMS-messages to con people into giving up their account and personal details.

Important things to note from the Treasury Minister Mel Stride MP are:

Post or through your pay via your employer

“HMRC only informs you about tax refunds through the post or through your pay via your employer. All emails, text messages, or voicemail messages saying you have a tax refund are a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address and phone number.”

Beware!

“criminals will try and use events like the end of the financial year, the self-assessment deadline, and the issuing of tax refunds to target the public and attempt to get them to reveal their personal data. It is important to be alert to the danger.”

 

 

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