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HMRC updates phishing scam advice

To counter developments in the way fraudsters use the guise of HMRC to mislead people online, the organisation has made updates to its guidance.

Recent research carried out by Jigsaw, one of Google’s technology incubators, showed that about 1% of emails are phishing related. A favourite approach is for fraudsters to pretend that they are from a government body, in particular a tax authority like HMRC from whom many people will be expecting correspondence.

In the UK, phishing emails are a particularly big issue. With this in mind, in January 2015, HMRC released guidance on this issue. The aim was for their customers to be able to quickly check whether or not an email, text message or phone call is genuinely from HMRC.

However, over time, criminals have evolved their methods. To deal with this change, the guidance is updated on a regular basis. This January, two important updates were added to the guide.

January is a particularly difficult month for private individuals and the self-employed. Many are expecting to be contacted by HMRC about their self-assessment, which means they are particularly vulnerable to phishing emails and text messages that are set up to look like they have come from HMRC.

With this in mind, many Liverpool accountants have sent out reminders to their clients, pointing out that phishing is a big issue at this time of the year. Many of them also share the link to the guidance that has been produced by HMRC in their emails.

Posted by Mark
February 5, 2019
HMRC

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