16 Jan 2020
HMRC has issued guidance on recognising genuine Revenue contact and phishing emails.
Criminals use phishing emails to obtain taxpayers' personal or financial information. HMRC stated that such emails often include a link to a bogus website, which encourages individuals to enter their personal details. The Revenue also warned that criminals are able to make scam emails and texts look very realistic.
During 2019, HMRC received 614,483 reports of suspicious communications from members of the public.
Commenting on phishing emails, a spokesperson for HMRC said: 'Scammers use a range of techniques, including phoning taxpayers and offering a bogus tax refund or threatening them with arrest if they don't immediately pay tax owed.
'If someone calls you claiming to be from HMRC saying that you will be arrested, that we are filing a lawsuit against you or even that you are owed a tax refund, and asks for information such as your name, credit card or bank details, then it's a scam.'
HMRC urges taxpayers to forward dubious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599. Its guidance on the matter can be found here.