HMRC releases new guidance on how to tell spam and genuine contact apart

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has updated its guidance on how to spot the differences between genuine HMRC digital contact and emails and text messages sent by opportunist scammers.

The news comes shortly after UK crime watchdog Action Fraud reported an increase in so-called ‘phishing scams’ – emails sent out by hackers in an attempt to acquire personal data, such as usernames, password and bank account details.

Action Fraud has reported that an increasing number of unsuspecting victims are receiving unsolicited messages or contact from scammers claiming to be from HMRC, demanding payments for invisible debts.

Moore Thompson Chartered Accountants are warning our clients to be wary of such contact – particularly since the tax authority confused matters further in September by starting to send its own, genuine text message and emails to ‘late taxpayers’ making similar demands for ‘immediate payments’.

We would like to remind our clients never to click on any suspicious-looking links or attachments received in unsolicited text messages – and to contact HMRC directly for advice if you believe that an unsolicited message or demand could be genuine. Never use a phone number, contact detail or website link given in the email. Instead, always go to the Government’s website direct through your browser.

HMRC’s new Guidance to Genuine HM Revenue & Customs contact and recognising phishing emails can be accessed here for your future reference: Genuine HM Revenue and Customs contact and recognising phishing emails