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There are a large number of scam phone calls, emails and texts circulating at the moment with many appearing to originate from HMRC. These can often appear genuine when they are actually nothing of the sort.

HMRC provide a checklist that can be used to help you decide if a suspicious contact is a scam and not a genuine phone call, text message (SMS) or email.

Check what to look for first

The communication could be a scam if it:

  • is unexpected
  • offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
  • asks for personal information like bank details
  • is threatening
  • tells you to transfer money

Other signs to look out for

Suspicious phone calls

You can be sure that HMRC will:

  • only ever call you asking about a claim or payment on a debt that you already know about
  • never leave a voicemail threatening legal action
  • never give the reason for a call on a voice message

WhatsApp messages

If you receive any communication through WhatsApp claiming to be from HMRC it’s a scam.

Gift or payment vouchers

HMRC will never ask you to pay with gift or payment vouchers.

HMRC have helpfully pulled together examples of some of the schemes in circulation so that you can more easily identify whether the communication you have received is genuine or not. They can be found via the link below.

If you receive any of the same or similar scam contacts HMRC advise everyone to report them.

You should not open attachments or click any links in an email or text message, as they may contain malicious software or direct you to a misleading website. The advice is to delete any emails or texts once you’ve reported them

You can report any suspicious communications to HMRC via the link below.

HMRC provide a regularly updated list of genuine HMRC contacts that you can check if you are in any doubt of the validity of the communication you have received

You can find the list below.

In summary, do not give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.

If you’re in any doubt, please contact one of the team and we’ll be happy to look at it with you.