HMRC and Companies House Scams

Spot the HMRC scams and Companies House phishing emails that could put your business at risk…

HMRC scams and Companies House scams are usually distributed through phishing emails to business’ accounts or admin emails. These are sent and received throughout the year, however, businesses are targeted more frequently during tax deadline periods so the cybercriminals can appear more legitimate. These emails can include malicious links or attachments. Downloading or opening either could result in serious damage to your business and it’s reputation.

HMRC Scam Risks

  • Cybercriminals can gain access of business financial information
  • Opening attached documents could infect your computer with a virus or spyware. This could also result in cybercriminals holding your business’ financial data at ransom
  • You could end up paying a largely overpriced fee for legal documents from a copycat website

Example

Take Action

Things to watch out for

  • Emails from HMRC or Companies House demanding payment or using words such as ‘urgent’ and threatening consequences if you do not complete the requested action
  • Sender’s email address is different to HMRC or Companies House
  • Attachments or links you are being coaxed into downloading
  • Emails addressed as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ rather than your name or company name
  • Copycat websites showing legal document purchases at a much higher price than usual

Report it!

  • Forward the email on to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
  • Change the password to any accounts you have revealed to the cybercriminal
  • Check HMRC’s guide on recognising scams
  • Phone us straight away on 0800 680 00 88 and report it to Action Fraud

Protect yourself and your business

  • Have an up to date firewall and antivirus
  • Never click on any links or download attachments unless you are 100% sure it is legitimate
  • Hover the mouse over links, but don’t click them. Hovering should reveal the actual link rather than the one written in the email
  • Check the sender’s email address. Does it look genuine?
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