HMRC Scam and Phishing Emails

HMRC spoof emailsHMRC Scam and Phishing Emails

HMRC have issued a number of warnings about false texts and emails claiming the recipient is due a tax rebate or they need to speak to you urgently simply to obtain personal details.
 
The ‘phishing' scam attempts to take advantage of the fact that HMRC is currently processing income tax for 2017/18, so some individuals could receive a genuine tax refund.
 
HMRC says it never uses emails or texts to inform anyone about a tax rebate or penalty, or to ask for personal information.
 
If you are genuinely due a tax rebate for 2017/18 will receive a tax calculation letter sometime between June and October.
 
Anyone receiving an email or text telling them they are owed a tax refund is advised not to click any links in the messages or give out personal information.
 

Easy ways to tell that an email is a scam and not from the HMRC

– Spelling mistakes and poor grammar are an immediate obvious sign.
 
– Check the sender’s email address.  Fraudsters often have email accounts with HMRC or revenue names in them (such as ‘refunds@hmrc.org.uk’). These emails are designed to mislead the recipient.  
But you must still be vigilent as fraudsters can falsify the ‘from’ address to look like a legitimate HMRC address.
 
– Emails from HMRC will never:
• Tell you of a tax rebate
• Offer to send you a repayment
• Ask you to disclose any personal information
• Ask for financial information such as specific figures
• Send attachments, unless you’ve given prior consent
• Email you a link to a secure log in page
• Scammers will sometimes ask for immediate action. Be wary of emails containing phrases like ‘you only have 3 days to reply’ or ‘urgent action required’.
 
Always remember if you’re not 100% sure, do not open the email or any links. 
 
If you want to find out more the HMRC have plenty of information on their website which you can access by clicking here.  Alternatively you may contact Cortex Accounting who will be able to advise you.