Our clients have been getting in touch more frequently to ask us about notices of refunds due from HMRC they have received by text or email. These frauds are typically called phishing.
Fraudsters increase this type of activity at this time of year, because they know people are more likely to respond if it coincides with peak tax return filing season.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a type of cybercrime which attempts to get sensitive information from you, such as passwords and credit card details, by pretending to be a legitimate entity. This is generally carried out using emails or texts which will direct you to a deceptive website that matches the look and feel of a legitimate site. Beware that email display names can be changed to make them appear genuine.
How to recognize what/who is a genuine HMRC contact
HMRC will never phone you, email or text you regarding tax rebates or penalties. If you do receive an email or text then please don’t visit the website, open any attachments or enter any personal or bank details. If you receive a telephone call please do not disclose any information to them.
HMRC publish guidance on their website here: https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing
Examples of known scams, which will help you identify them, can also be found here: https://www.gov.uk/topic/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams
Report suspicious activity
HMRC encourage you to report suspicious activity to them.
If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from HMRC you can forward it to them using the email address email@example.com.
You can also forward suspicious text messages to 60599 (please note you’ll be charged your network rate).
Please also provide details of any suspicious phone calls to HMRC including your number, the number that called you and the date and time of the call.
We advise that you take care to delete any suspicious correspondence, block the email sender and block suspicious numbers.
Are you still unsure?
Please contact us https://www.lloydpiggott.co.uk/contact/