Where there is a person to be scammed, there is a scammer. This is particularly true during the current period of uncertainty where things seem to be up in the air for businesses in terms of whether a refund or grant is available from HMRC to help tie them over.
The HMRC guidance with regard to phishing emails and bogus contacts is a useful page to have saved to your bookmarks at any point in time, however never has it been more important to check whether the email that you have been sent, or the phone call that you have received is really from HMRC and not a spoof.
The HMRC website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples mentions three Corona Virus scams in particular:
- Email Scams
- Goodwill Payment ‘SMS’
- £250 fine ‘SMS’
There will doubtless be more to come, so please be vigilant and follow HMRC guidance which says:
report all HMRC related phishing emails and bogus text messages to us. Even if you get the same or similar phishing email or text message often, email it to email@example.com and then delete it.
Do not open attachments or click any links in an email or text message, as they may contain malicious software or direct you to a bogus website.