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    Rise in HMRC-related phishing emails, phone calls and texts

    HMRC have recently published updated guidance on how to identify tax phishing emails, phone calls and text messages due to a rise in suspicious activity and scams.

    The guidance encourages recipients of suspicious emails, phone calls or text messages to log them via the HMRC reporting platform, accessible here, even if they have been reported previously.

    Individuals are warned, however, not to open attachments or click any links in an unexpected email or text message, as they may contain malicious software or direct you to a misleading website.

    The guidance also clarifies HMRC’s communication practices which we have summarised below.

    • Phone calls: HMRC will never threaten arrest or leave threatening voicemails.
    • Texts: While HMRC may send texts containing links to GOV.UK or HMRC webchat, they never solicit personal or financial details. Texts offering tax refunds for such information are fraudulent.
    • WhatsApp: HMRC only sends occasional tax reminders via the UK Government Channel, with no option for replies. WhatsApp is not used for direct communication with taxpayers.
    • QR codes: HMRC includes QR codes in letters for GOV.UK guidance but never for personal information requests. Codes may redirect after login, such as to a bank’s login page.

    To verify authenticity, we would recommend consulting HMRC’s website to check the list of genuine HMRC contacts or for any further information.

    If you’re unsure about any communication claiming to be from HMRC, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to confirm its authenticity, either by speaking to your usual PM+M adviser, or emailing

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