Student safety: Be scam-aware!

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University students are at increased risk from online and text scams offering tax rebates - so here's a few tips to keep you safe!

Tax and HRMC

Firstly, forward ANY suspicious tax emails to and texts to 60599. #StopChallengeProtect

HMRC’s advice:


  • Take a moment to think before parting with your information or money.
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.


  • It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests - only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.


  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud.

Examples of current scamming frauds can be found on GovUK.

Derbyshire Scam Watch

Derbyshire Scam Watch is a project funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire.

The aim is to raise awareness, particularly amongst older residents, of the potential harmful effects of mass-marketing, internet, doorstep and telephone scams and to provide one to one advice and support where potential scam/fraud victims are identified.

Suckers List

Scammers buy a mailing list with your details on it or you have responded to a survey, tempting letter, phone call or advertisement. Scammers make a list of all the people they have tricked. These lists are called 'suckers lists'.

What do scammers do with their 'suckers lists'?

They sell them to other scammers all over the world.

What happens if my name gets put on a 'suckers list'?

Your criminal mail and phone calls will start to increase as more scammers try their luck at getting their hands on your cash.

What other tricks do scammers use?

Scammers are very crafty people, they know how to get into minds. Someone whose mind has been 'dazzled' will become excited and start to focus on the prize, rather than the fact that they are being asked to send cash or personal details to claim it.

Below are just a few words and statements that scammers use:

  • Won the lottery
  • Sworn to Secrecy
  • Time Sensitive
  • Unclaimed Prize/Award
  • Guaranteed Winner
  • Highly Confidential

To make the scams even more convincing, some put 'THIS IS NOT A SCAM!' on their letters, or say this over the phone to victims.

  • Scammers sometimes refer victims to a website to check their legitimacy.
  • Scammers can build very convincing websites and copy legitimate sites.
  • Scammers send out false testimonials and photographs of fictitious winners.
  • Scammers claim to be lottery officials, clairvoyants, presidents of banks and use other important sounding titles and names
  • Scammers sometimes disguise their mailbox addresses by calling them things like suites, units or apartments to create the illusion they are operating from a traceable office or grand building.
  • Scammers try to trick people into sending them passports, photographs and birth certificates by pretending they are arranging celebration parties or sending out photographs.
  • Scammers hide behind letters from fictitious charities and often use distressing photographs in an attempt to pull at the heartstrings of caring people.

Stay safe!



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