The fourth self-employed income support scheme grant is now open for claims and this has given fraudsters a new opportunity for an email phishing scam.
What does the email say?
The email, with its official-looking logo and the subject line ‘HMRC SEISS Tax Refund Notification’, alerts the recipient that claims for the SEISS grant can now be made and directs them to sign in to ‘HMRC online services’.
As with so many scam emails, there are errors in the text which give it away; the email states “the date for submitting application for the Fourth SEISS grant start 22 April 2021”. The message goes on to instruct the user to sign in and “follow step 1 of 3 to have your tax refund credit to your bank account”. The email recipient is then advised to have their passport and driving licence details ready in order to submit the application.
The recipient is encouraged to click the ‘HMRC online services self assessment’ hyperlink. The fraudulent email continues: “For security reason we will record (IP Address, Time and Date) Deliberate wrong input or flooding will be criminally pursued”.
Be on your guard
We are aware of the constant threat of HMRC phishing scams and encourage our clients to be suspicious of email communication purporting to be from HMRC. It is very unusual for HMRC to use email to communicate with taxpayers.
HMRC publish a list of their recent communications to help taxpayers decide if a contact is genuine https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-a-list-of-genuine-hmrc-contacts
The fourth grant covers the period from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021 at 80% of an eligible individual’s average profits, capped at £7,500. The window for claims closes on 1 June.
There will be a fifth SEISS grant that will be payable for the three months to 31 July 2021, again up to a maximum of £7,500. The portal for the fifth grant is expected to open in late July 2021.