In the last few months many of our clients have been the subject of scam emails, supposedly from HMRC declaring that they are eligible for a tax refund. These phishing emails ask for confidential information, such as a full address, postcode and specific figures. If you have an email and are unsure whether it is from HMRC, then do not open it, and if you already have then do not click on any links or attachments in the email.
Due to the frequency of these emails and the number of people that are falling victim, it is important that you are vigilant and know how to spot a fraudulent email.
How to tell if an email is Fraudulent
Spelling and grammar:
Often fraudulent emails will be full of spelling and grammatical mistakes. If this is the case, then the email is not from HMRC.
Asking for personal information:
HMRC will never email you to:
- Notify you of a tax rebate
- Offer you a repayment
- Ask you for personal or confidential information, such as your full address, postcode, unique taxpayer code or your bank account details
If you receive an email with links asking you for any of these things, then do not open the email or click on any of the links.
Urgent action required:
HMRC will never in an email ask for a reply or the links to be completed immediately or in a short time frame. For example ‘you only have 3 days to reply’ or ‘urgent action required.’ If the email says these things, or phrases similar, then it is a fraudulent email.
An email from HMRC will greet you with the name you provided to them when you signed up. If the email greets you with ‘Dear customer’ then you know that it is fraudulent. HMRC will always start an email with your full name.
Be wary of emails that contain attachments. These attachments could contain a virus which is designed to steal your personal information. If there is an attachment and you are unsure whether it is from HMRC then do not open it.
If you have received an email from HMRC and are unsure of its authenticity, contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will advise you.