Avoid and report internet scams and phishing

Report misleading websites, emails, phone numbers, phone calls or text messages you think may be suspicious.

Do not 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 passport.

Search 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:

  • Action Fraud
  • Google if it appears as an advert in their search results
  • Bing if it appears as an advert in their search results

HMRC phishing emails, texts and phone call scams

You’ll never get an email, text message or phone call from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which:

  • tells you about a tax rebate or penalty
  • asks for your personal or payment information

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

Reporting suspicious emails, texts or phone calls

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

  • a text message (forward it to 60599 - you’ll be charged at your network rate)
  • an email
  • details of a phone call asking for personal information or threatening a lawsuit

If you receive a suspicious phone call, you can help HMRC’s investigations by providing:

  • the caller’s phone number
  • the date of the call
  • a brief description of the call

HMRC phishing team
phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Your email address and phone number 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 do not give your personal details in the email.

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.