[UK] HMRC’s Examples Of Phishing Emails And Bogus Contact

09 MAR 2020

HMRC are often sending out messages to individuals saying that they should be vigilant and ensure that contact from HMRC is genuine. HMRC provides a list of what they currently contact individuals about.  This was last updated on the 21st of February 2020 and includes genuine contact such as:

  • Help to Save - online survey
  • Mid-sized businesses - customer experience survey
  • HMRC research on businesses who deal with customs processes
  • Preparing for Brexit
  • National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage – telephone interviews about employment

Where contact is not genuine, contact will often be by email and is known as phishing, which is the fraudulent act of emailing a person to get their personal or financial information.  The emails will often contain a link to a bogus website that asks individuals to enter personal details, including bank details.

The warning being then that if HMRC contact you about anything not on the list above, it is likely to be bogus.  On the 10th of March 2020, HMRC updated this list giving examples of HMRC related phishing emails and bogus contact they are aware of.  This includes bogus contact and examples such as:

  • Tax refund and rebate scams
  • Text messages
  • Coronavirus – COVID-19 related scams
  • Refund companies 

Global Payroll Association Comment

The Global Payroll Association recommends people subscribe to the “Phishing and scams” email alerts to be kept updated. 

Good advice throughout the “bogus contact” document is that if there is any doubt, contact HMRC for verification at phishing@hmrc.gov.uk sending them the message / contact.