How to recognise fake HMRC emails and other phishing scams 

Phishing is the fraudulent act of emailing a person in order to obtain their personal/financial information such as passwords and credit card or bank account details. These emails often include a link to a bogus website designed to encourage the unwary to enter their personal details.

How do you recognise if it is fake?

If HMRC needs to contact you about anything confidential they’ll reply by phone or post. HMRC never send notifications of a tax rebate or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email or text message. It is important that you do not visit the website contained in the email as well as not disclosing any personal or private details. A selection of scam email addresses used to distribute the tax rebate emails can be seen below:

Tax rebate:

These contacts do not in any way represent HMRC.

Text messages

HMRC will occasionally send out text messages, but these messages will never ask for personal information (including bank details) nor will it offer a tax refund in exchange for personal information or bank details. If this does happen to you, it is important you never open the link within the text message and instead report it to HMRC investigators.

VAT Return email scam

If you receive an email that appears to be from HMRC requesting you to review you VAT Return, do not open the email or click on any of the links. These links could be malicious or could request you to disclose personal and private information. Instead, please report it to HMRC.

Other scams

Unfortunately, there are many other scams out there with new ones always being created, if you are unsure whether the contact you have received from HMRC is genuine, check here for other known scams and always remember that HMRC will never openly ask you for any personal information or banking details over text or emails.



Craig Walker is a senior tax manager at the firm. He advises on all matters tax related, both corporate and personal, including income, capital gains and inheritance. For more details and advice, please contact Craig on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.