HMRC Issues Cyber Safety Warning

Watch out for bogus emails in the run-up to the self assessment deadline

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning taxpayers to be vigilant against scam emails this January in the run-up to the self assessment deadline.

At this time of year, HMRC sends more than a million self assessment emails to customers, reminding them of the impending 31 January deadline. Cyber criminals use this peak in online activity to carry out increasingly sophisticated frauds and to make their phishing emails appear official and relevant.

A genuine email to taxpayers will never include or ask for:

  • personal or financial information of any sort, eg your full address, full postcode, Unique Tax Reference (UTR), or any bank details
  • financial information that refers to specific figures, tax computations or specific facts relating to you
  • email attachments or web links
  • an offer of a repayment or refund
  • a personal HMRC email address to send a response to

HMRC has added more security controls to its online self assessment service and suggests that customers should keep their data safe by:

  • having up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection
  • using the latest version of their internet browser
  • keeping their passwords safe and changing them regularly

If you receive a suspicious email, you can forward it to HMRC at before you delete it.

For more information about cyber security, see common cyber security measures and read about detecting spam, malware and viruses.