HMRC have issued an update of their guidance on how to recognise genuine government contact.
Some websites, emails or phone numbers can look like they’re part of an official government service, or that they provide more help than they actually do. For example, this might mean that you pay for services such as a passport renewal that you could get cheaper or for free if you used the official government service.
However, this might not be the case and it is crucial to report any misleading websites, emails, phone numbers, calls or texts you might think to be suspicious to HMRC via email or telephone.
What to look out for:
- Fraudsters ask for ‘urgent action required’ or ‘you only have 3 days to reply’
- Often webpage links are included that look like the HMRC homepage. These webpages often include links to bank/building society details.
- Be cautious of emails addressed ‘Dear Customer’. Genuine emails from HMRC are addressed with the name you provided other than when you have signed up to HMRC subscription services
- Be careful when opening attachment as these could contain viruses designed to steal personal information
Emails 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
- Ask for financial information such as specific figures or tax computations, unless you’ve given us prior consent and you’ve formally accepted the risks
- Have attachments, unless you’ve given prior consent and you’ve formally accepted the risks
- Provide a link to a secure log in page or a form asking for information – instead we will ask you to log on to your online account to check for information