Current security messages

Tax rebate emails

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would not inform customers of a tax rebate via email, or invite them to complete an online form to receive a rebate of tax.

Do not visit the website contained within the email or disclose any personal or payment information. Please see our Known HMRC scam examples page for further details.

Approval of Funds fraudulent email

An email is currently being used to advise recipients that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has approved them to receive payment. The email states that this is as a result of an HM Revenue & Customs programme on 15 June 2009.

This is not an official email and should not be acted upon, and further details can be found on our Known HMRC scam examples page.

Why online security is important to HMRC, Tax Agents and their clients

The use of online services by tax agents and advisers to handle their clients’ tax affairs continues to grow, due in part to mandatory requirements, but also because of the speed and accuracy they offer.

It’s therefore vitally important that you protect your log in details and passwords as they allow access to your entire registered client base.

Online services enable you to create and update client information, and even at times, obtain repayments. If your confidential online credentials fall into the wrong hands, fraudsters may have the ability to generate spurious repayments and direct them to third parties without the knowledge of HMRC, the tax agent or their client.. These online credentials could be obtained by one or more of the following methods:

  • gaining physical access in the agent’s office
  • someone observing and noting passwords that are displayed on computer workstations or notice boards
  • inappropriate disclosure through 'phishing' emails
  • the unintentional downloading of malicious software that can be used to record confidential information remotely

Unauthorised use of your online credentials can lead to financial losses for tax agents, their clients, HMRC, as well as affecting the client/agent relationship. There is also the potential to undermine your clients’ confidence in the ability to communicate or transact business with HMRC or their agent by email or online.

SMS text messages

HMRC is trialing new ways to contact its customers. As part of these trials you may be contacted by SMS text message. You will be asked to telephone HMRC on Tel 0845 300 3900. If you receive an SMS text message claiming to be from HMRC asking you to contact any number other than Tel 0845 300 3900, you should not respond to the number but instead report the matter to your HMRC Contact Centre. This warning only applies to any SMS text messages from HMRC. It does not apply to any messages left in person by HMRC officers asking you to ring them back at your local office.