Despite repeated warnings of the dangers of responding to bogus phishing emails, it seems many of us are still being caught out.
Early in 2017, a UK company took action to inform its workforce on the risk posed by suspicious emails and how to deal with them. Two months later, a sample of employees were sent a bogus email from the HR manager requesting personal information. Over half (54%) of those who received the email did not suspect it was fake and clicked the link. Nearly all of those reeled in by the phishing email went on to provide their data using the online form.
A rise in fake HMRC emails
The vast majority of hacking attacks begin with a phishing email and HMRC is one of the most phished names in the UK. Many experts predict another surge in fake HMRC emails as the Making Tax Digital project progresses.
In response to the government ambition that everyone will have a PTA by 2020, HMRC are encouraging individuals and businesses to sign up to use their Personal Tax Account (PTA). Whilst HMRC may contact you by email, they will never ask you to disclose personal or financial information by means of digital communications.
To protect yourself and your company from phishing emails, remember that legitimate companies will never ask you to click a link to divulge personal details. By being vigilant we can catch out the scammers before they catch us.
Genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails – This is a list of digital and other contacts you may receive from HMRC in case you have any doubts about whether an email is genuine. It provides helpful pointers to look out for to determine if it is authentic.
Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up – Here you will find details of what you can currently do in the Personal Tax Account. In the future, the aim is that your PTA will be a secure area where you, as an individual or business, can see all your tax details in one place and interact digitally with HMRC. You can also sign up to a Personal Tax Account on this page.
Cloud Accounting Software
Moving your bookkeeping and financial accounting to cloud accounting software is a great way to prepare for the launch of Making Tax Digital. To discuss which of our packages is right for your business or to arrange a free trial, please get in touch. Contact one of our offices or enquire online.