Phishing emails and cyber attacks
James Forsyth - May 15th, 2017
As evidenced by the global cyber-attacks on 12th May 2017, cyber-attacks and phishing emails are becoming an ever more present threat, not only for big companies but also for medium and small sized businesses and for individual tax payers. The Government has set up a website which provides cyber security guidance for business https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/cyber-security-guidance-for-business. A phishing email is an email sent by someone disguising their identity as a trustworthy source with the intention of obtaining sensitive information, for example bank information and passwords. These emails may also contain clickable links which are infected with viruses.
Recently a few clients have been in touch with us regarding “phishing” emails from HMRC informing them of a potential refund they are due to supposedly receive. All the recipient has to do is enter their bank information in to receive it. HMRC is working very hard to shut down scam websites however these websites continue to be created on a daily basis.
HMRC state that they will never contact anyone and ask them to hand over personal details or payment information by email.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) have recently issued a notice to say ‘Members are strongly advised to look out for a new phishing scam. If you receive an email with the subject “Your 2016 Tax Report”, with an attachment, do not open it.’
If you do receive an email that you are suspicious of you should forward it to email@example.com. Please do not click any links, open any attachments or respond to the original email before forwarding the suspicious email onto the above email address. You can also contact us and ask us to confirm whether anything you receive from HMRC is fake or genuine.
If you would like more information regarding “phishing” emails then please visit HMRC website on https://www.gov.uk/topic/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams