The warning comes in response to a recent rise in fraudulent e-mails purportedly sent by HMRC. These e-mails usually notify the recipient of a sizeable tax rebate and ask for personal/financial information such as passwords and bank account details to be given so that this payment can be made.
Glen Thomas, Tax Partner, at DSH, based in Maidstone, said: “HMRC has made it clear that they do not send taxpayers e-mails regarding their tax affairs. Should you receive an e-mail purporting to be from HMRC you can safely assume that it is a scam and that it can be ignored.
“Whatever you do, do not follow any links in these e-mails as they will likely lead to all sorts of viruses infecting your computer, and do not provide any personal information, particularly bank details.”
HMRC has compiled a seven-point checklist to help people recognise a phishing e-mail.
Top tips include looking out for incorrect ‘From’ addresses, being wary of e-mails containing phrases like “you only have three days to reply” or “urgent action required” and being cautious of e-mails sent with a generic greeting such as “Dear Customer”.
Anyone who has received an HMRC-related phishing e-mail is asked to forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it.
To find out more about DSH Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors, visit www.dsh.co.uk or call 01622 690666.