Warning of HMRC Email & Phone Scams

Scam Alert


Scammers are targeting self assessment taxpayers by email claiming they are entitled to tax refunds and asking for bank details to transfer the money. This scam comes just weeks after the filing deadline for self assessment tax returns.


HMRC email scams

The scam phishing emails are being sent from verio.net domain names and contain multiple hashtags and requests for bank information addressed to ‘user HMRC taxpayer’.


The scam emails contain a random, fabricated UTR number as well as a refund number, tax reference, transaction number, as well as a generated password to activate the refund. An attachment is included in the email, with a file name of Zero-Hour Auto Purge.


Sample email content may include:

  • :##:-You will find attached to this email a short guide document.
  • :##:-Please read this guide carefully
  • File password is 3399
  • :##:-Transaction reference is 42755 45415
  • :##:- Issuing Date: February-15 , 2019


HMRC mobile phone scams

Phone scammers are also targeting UK taxpayers by mobile phone and appear to be accessing company mobile phone numbers. The calls are from a number impersonating HMRC.


The best advice is to never provide personal details when receiving such phone calls, hang up immediately and ring the official HMRC helplines to check on any tax issues.


HMRC office advice states that ‘you’ll never get an email, text message or phone call from HMRC which:

  • Tells you about a tax rebate or penalty;
  • Asks for you personal or payment information


Always report something suspicious to HMRC’s phishing team, for example:

  • A text message (forward it to 60599);
  • An email;
  • Details of a phone call asking for personal information or threatening a lawsuit.


If you receive a suspicious phone call, email the following details to the HMRC phishing team phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk providing:

  • Your phone number;
  • Callers phone number;
  • Time and date of call;
  • A brief description of call