It’s great news for businesses up and down the UK as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is officially up and running. Please be aware however that fraudsters are taking full advantage of this opportunity and are coming up with very convincing ways to get people to part with their personal information.
The email below is an example of one of the many emails which are currently circulating.
The ‘from’ field says HM Revenue & Customs, it’s HMRC branded, the footer contains all the website and social media links and ironically, there’s even information about staying safe online and how to report suspicious emails.
It’s easy to see how anyone could be fooled by this – especially at a time when people are highly anxious, worried and are perhaps in a rush to ensure their staff get paid.
Tell-tell signs of a scam HMRC email
Even though the ‘from’ field may say HMRC, always check the email address the email has been sent from. In this case it was firstname.lastname@example.org which definitely isn’t the Inland Revenue.
- Check the spelling, punctuation and grammar. There are normally a few mistakes in scam emails.
- HMRC will never ask you to disclose personal information such as your full address, postcode, Unique Tax Reference or bank account details via an email. They will also never notify you of a tax rebate or offer you a repayment in this way.
- Generic greetings such as ‘Dear Customer’ are often a sign of scam emails. Although they have your email address, because they’re sending these communications out to high volumes of people, it’s highly unlikely they’ll use your name.
- You can read more ways of identifying scam emails claiming to be from HMRC on the uk website.
If you’re unsure about anything you’ve received from HMRC, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with PKB and we’ll be more than happy to investigate this for you.
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