Internet scamsThis month’s featured blog ‘How to avoid and report internet scams and phishing’ is taken from the HMRC website.
The article in full can be found at:


Report misleading websites, emails, phone numbers, phone calls or text messages you think may be suspicious. Don’t give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.

Misleading websites, emails and phone numbers

Some websites, emails or phone numbers can look like they’re part of an official government service or that they provide more help than they actually do. This might mean you pay for services that you could get cheaper or for free if you used the official government service, for example renewing a passportSearch on GOV.UK to find official government services and phone numbers – for example if you want to apply for a driving licence or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

You can report a misleading website, email or phone number to:

HMRC phishing emails, texts and tax scams

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will never use texts or emails to:

  • tell you about a tax rebate or penalty
  • ask for personal or payment information

Check HMRC’s guidance on recognising scams if you’re not sure.

Forward suspicious text messages to 60599. Text messages will be charged at your network rate. Forward suspicious emails to HMRC’s phishing team.

HMRC phishing team
[email protected]
Your email address will be shared with other organisations if that’s necessary to close down the scam.

Report a disclosure of personal details to HMRC

Contact the HMRC security team if you think you’ve given any personal information in reply to a suspicious email or text. Include brief details of what you disclosed (for example name, address, HMRC User ID, password) but don’t give your personal details in the email.

HMRC security team
[email protected]

Visas and immigration

You’ll never be asked to pay for a visa using:

  • cash
  • money transfer

Contact Action Fraud to report visa and immigration scams. You should include:

  • a copy of the suspicious email you received, the sender’s email address and the date and time it was received
  • details of what you sent in a reply, if you replied – for example whether you sent your bank details, address or password
You can also report suspicious emails, letters or telephone calls to the police through Action Fraud.


Alison is a business coach, working with ambitious and driven small business owners, to help them grow their business and make more money, without putting in more and more time. After many years experience in senior roles in blue chip companies in the UK such as Vodafone and Swinton Insurance, she now runs her business coaching company from Staffordshire. She especially loves working with business owners who have too much to do and too little time – helping them to figure how to work smarter and not harder, and hit their goals more quickly. You can see more, and check out her numerous business articles at