Identify HMRC related scam phone calls, emails and text messages

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:

  • is unexpected
  • offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
  • asks for personal information like bank details
  • is threatening
  • tells you to transfer money

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

You can be sure that HMRC will:

  • only ever call you asking about a claim or payment on a debt that you already know about
  • never leave a voicemail threatening legal action
  • never give the reason for a call on a voice message

View an example of a bogus phone call.

WhatsApp messages

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.

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.

Published 29 October 2020