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13 December 2018 You are not logged in. Login now.

Companies House and HRMC scams

It seems like every other week there is a new alert or warning from either Companies House or HMRC that a new scam has been identified. So how can you protect your company?

hmrc scam alertScam emails, telephone calls, and even texts seem to be increasing every day. Whether you are being asked to help some poor sole to transfer his millions, or your bank is asking you to login to your account, the number of communications we receive is increasing. However, it is not just personal email scams on the rise.

Over recent years more fraudsters are targeting businesses with emails and phone calls. The latest spate of emails pretend to be from either Companies House or HM Revenue and Customs and ask you to login or click a link.

Following links

It may go without saying but never click any links in emails if you suspect them to be from an unreliable source. You do not know where the link will take you or what file you may be downloading to your PC.

Many site links may look real. They can disguise links to look like the genuine website urls or they buy domain names that are very similar to official government site names. If you are not sure do not follow the link. If necessary you can visit the ‘official site’ directly and search for the content you need.

Confirming your details

HMRC and Companies House will not ask you to confirm any company details by telephone or email. If your receive an enquiry asking for your companies login details, user names, passwords, authentication data, unique tax reference (UTR) or any other sensitive information do not provide the information.

It may be worth instructing your employees not to answer any questions raised by telephone or email that claim to be from a government agency. No matter how professional or polite the enquiry may be ask all staff to pass the enquiry to a company director.

Whether your company is ten years old or you have registered a new company you should not receive unsolicited communication from the government. If you do receive an email or telephone call that you believe to be a scam you can refer this to Companies House, HMRC, the police or the National Fraud Authority.

To protect your company from identity theft or abuse do not provide any information regarding your business by telephone or email. Your company’s codes not be divulged to third parties.

About the Author Mike Harris:
I have been providing advice and support to companies for over 15 years through my company Small Firms Services Ltd. You can follow me on Google+ and also twitter