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Warning of scam emails

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22 July 2009

Since the wide scale use of email there have always been scam emails attempting to obtain personal information from the unwary. However, in recent years and months the scam emails claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have become more convincing. With the use of HMRC logos and very similar web addresses.

How to spot a scam email?

  • HMRC will never ask you to disclose personal information such as your PIN or password or bank details.
  • When using HMRC Online Services there should always be a padlock or an unbroken key in the bottom right hand corner of your screen to indicate that it is secure.
  • Always be suspicious of emails not addressed to you personally.
  • Any emails from the Inland Revenue or HM Customs & Excise are scams as these names have not been used since their merger in April 2005.
  • Where an email has a link for you to follow you should be wary and always access the HMRC website by typing in HMRC’s address in to your web browser.

Recent examples

Tax rebate email                       HMRC would not inform anyone of a tax rebate by email.

Approval of funds email             The email says HMRC has approved a payment to the recipient as a result of their programme on 15 June 2009 (there is no
                                              such programme).

SMS text messages                 HMRC are trialing contacting people by SMS text message, but only to ask them to call 0845 300 3900.

Update your account email        The email asks you to ‘update your account to the new EV SSL certification’ and comes from info@hmrc.gov.uk 

What should you do if you receive a scam email?
  • Do not click on any links in the email.
  • Send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it (HMRC are unlikely to reply but they do investigate any new scams).
  • Run your anti-virus software to check for infections.

If you have any concerns about an email you have received you can speak to your usual Hazlewoods contact or email tax@hazlewoods.co.uk.