Use a checklist to decide if a suspicious contact is a scam and not a genuine phone call, text message (SMS) or email.
Check what to look for first
Use the following checklist to decide if the contact you’ve received is a scam. You can use it for phone calls, emails and text messages.
It could be a scam if it:
- rushes you
- is threatening
- is unexpected
- asks for personal information like bank details
- tells you to transfer money
- offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
For more help view examples of HMRC related phishing emails and bogus contact .
Check a list of genuine HMRC contact and campaigns to help you decide if the one you’ve received is genuine.
Other signs to look out for
Suspicious phone calls
HMRC will never:
- leave a voicemail threatening legal action
- call threatening arrest
View an example of a bogus phone call.
If you receive any communication through WhatsApp claiming to be from HMRC it’s a scam. Take a screenshot and forward it as an email.
HMRC use QR codes to help you complete your payment to HMRC using a mobile device.
The QR code will first be displayed when you’re logged into your HMRC online account through the Government Gateway, on a desktop browser.
You will then be able to use your mobile phone to scan the code which will allow you to continue your payment on your mobile.
We will never send you a QR code. If you receive a QR code at any time, it’s a scam.
Gift or payment vouchers
HMRC will never ask you to pay with gift or payment vouchers.
If you’ve already shared personal details
You can report a disclosure of personal information to the HMRC security team.
If you’ve been a victim of a scam and suffered financial loss, report it to Action Fraud.