As thousands of students across the UK prepare to begin life at university HMRC has issued a scam warning to those leaving home for the first time.

Ahead of the new University term students are being warned about HMRC scams looking to take advantage of those new to the world of employment.

Experts at Student Beans have provided tips for students to avoid falling victim to text scams that may be looking to con them out of money.

HMRC warns students about text scams

This week HMRC have released new warnings aimed at university students who are heading back this September with those taking part-time jobs at increased risk of falling victim to scams.

With a higher number of students than ever heading to university, many will take on part-time work to fund their studies. HMRC warns that “being new to interacting with HMRC and unfamiliar with genuine contact from the department could make them vulnerable to scams”.

Between April and May this year, 18 to 24-year olds reported more than 5,000 phone scams to HMRC. 

Lewis Potton, Editor at Students Beans said: "Finding a part-time job is a fantastic way for students to increase their disposable income, to help cover the additional costs associated with studying at university. For many who receive their first-ever paycheque from an employer, getting to grips and understanding how their tax works could be daunting. 

Students should remain vigilant, and follow the steps and advice available to best protect themselves from fraud and scams to HMRC - to ensure they continue to have the most amazing time at university".

How to avoid scams from those posing as HMRC

Finance experts at Student Beans have put together a guide for students on avoiding scams:

  1. HMRC does not offer tax refunds via text or email. If you are due a tax refund you will be contacted via a letter directly from HMRC so always be cautious when receiving a text message.
  2. Don’t click links within text messages or emails. Most scams occur when people click on links that take them to fake websites posing as genuine businesses or services. 
  3. Always be wary if you are contacted out of the blue and asked to send money or give personal information. 
  4. Check directly with HMRC and don’t reply to text messages. 
  5. Trust your gut. If it seems like a scam it probably is, if it doesn’t look genuine then keep clear!