The latest scam emails and calls pertaining to be from HMRC


Senga Prior

Senga Prior

Tax Senior Manager


Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve become aware of a new phishing scam in the guise of being a call or email from HMRC. In this blog we set out the details of the scam and steps you can take to protect yourself.

During this time of uncertainty, many people may let their guards down in relation to emails or calls from Government bodies. Unfortunately, this makes for a prime opportunity for fraudsters to attempt to extort money from you.

Most recently we have been made aware of clients receiving a phone call with a recorded message stating that the caller is from HMRC and that there is a court case pending against the recipient. The message them asks the recipient to either press 1 or to call back a certain number to pay the outstanding balance immediately, in order to avoid further action.

HMRC has confirmed that this is a scam and you should end the call immediately.

There are other scam calls doing the rounds at the moment claiming to offer you a tax refund and requesting your bank or credit card information to arrange this. Again, this is not a call from HMRC and you should end it immediately.

HMRC have pulled together a round-up of examples of phishing emails and bogus calls, along with information on how to report your experience. You can view this on HMRC’s website.

Remember

As well as spelling mistakes and poor grammar, there are a number of things you can look out for to help you recognise a phishing email or bogus SMS text message from HMRC.

Emails and SMS text messages from HMRC will never:

  • notify you of a tax rebate
  • offer you a repayment
  • ask you to disclose personal information such as your full address, postcode, Unique Taxpayer Reference or details of your bank account
  • give a non-HMRC personal email address to send a response to
  • ask for financial information such as specific figures or tax computations, unless you’ve given prior consent and you’ve formally accepted the risks
  • have attachments, unless you’ve given prior consent and you’ve formally accepted the risks

You can read more on how to spot fraudulent HMRC contact here.