Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Emails

Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Emails

It has come to our attention that quite a few fraudulent emails are doing the rounds, claiming to be from HMRC and Companies’ House. As the Government’s focus seems to move to online means of transferring and storing data, it is a sad reality that fraudsters are taking advantage of this in order to imitate legitimate communications in the aim of defrauding business owners.

What Sort of (Genuine) Emails will HMRC Send Me?

HMRC and the British Government have a regularly updated list of emails / SMS messages they send during different periods which ca be accessed at any point on their official website. The full and comprehensive list is located here. If the communication you have received is not in this list, then it is very likely that this email is a fraudulent one.

How Can I Tell A Fake Email When I See One?

The usual rules with phishing emails are very useful when it comes to working out the difference between real and fake communications with HMRC as well. HMRC have a list of rules which they’ll never break either – For instance, HMRC will never contact you about anything confidential such as your address or payment information via email or SMS.

Should they need to take information from you, they will always contact you via phone or post.

Do remember to keep an eye on the email address as well. Fraudsters tend to use similar email addresses to HMRC, such as @hmrc.org.uk in order to seem, at a glance, that it is the same as @hmrc.gov.uk. While indeed an email address can be spoofed in order to seem identical (so this point isn’t completely exhaustive) , the majority of fraudulent emails do seem to come from similarly titled email addresses.

Furthermore, HMRC will never send notifications of a tax rebate or ask you to disclose information via email or text message. They will never offer you a repayment, never ask you to disclose personal information, and will never provide a link to a webpage which is asking for information.

Should there ever be anything pertinent, HMRC instead will ask you to log into your online account in order to access this information.

What Should I do If I Get A Suspicious Email?

It is important that you do not click any of the links in these emails, or download any attachments. Instead, forward the email to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. If your suspect message was a SMS, you can forward it to 60599.