Spot fake HMRC communications to avoid being scammed

HM Revenue & Customs have recently updated (17 October) their guidance on how to take action against scammers, who use sophisticated methods to fraudulently obtain sensitive and private information.  So-called ‘phishing’ is used by criminals seeking to access taxpayers’ information for their own benefit, usually through duplicating the look and feel of a genuine HM Revenue & Customs or UK government website or email, but changing the content to take users to an insecure website or have them unwittingly download a malicious attachment containing a virus.

An alarming number of taxpayers (and non-taxpayers!) are likely to have received communications that look like genuine HMRC correspondence, often reeling victims in with false promises of tax refunds.  Any suspicious communications you receive can be forwarded to, after which you should delete the message.

Sources: [1] Genuine HM Revenue and Customs contact and recognising phishing emails – GOV.UK, [2] Phishing emails and bogus contact: HM Revenue and Customs examples – GOV.UK