Don't get paranoid, but they are all out to get you!
Most of us in business are used to the dodgy e-mails from people purporting to be banks who are checking will close our accounts if we don’t click on a link, or ‘you have a tax refund due’ so just give us your bank details.
On average I get about 3 of these a day, and those are just the ones that get through the spam filter. Our cloud server provider tells me that they stop about 60 a day from reaching my inbox.
For the record, HMRC do not use e-mail for communicating with taxpayers, so any e-mail you receive claiming to be from HMRC will be fraudulent. You should not open it, and delete it from your e-mail account.
The ones from those claiming to be banks are so obviously fake, in most cases just look at the e-mail address it comes from and it has no connection to a bank. Usually, they are badly written as they are translated from other languages. Most banks have a department to forward these e-mails to, so that they can investigate and close down the offending e-mail accounts.
What I would like to bring to your attention is letters that look as though they are from a government department, but are actually a con. The latest one is supposed to be gathering statutory information for a list of VAT registration details and on the face of it looks very official. However, read the very small print and what you are actually doing by completing and returning the form is agreeing to pay this company (in Germany) over £700 per year for two years to put your name in a directory. Whether the directory exists is another matter.
If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an e-mail or letter, please contact us. We have seem most of the cons, and may be able to same you a lot of money and hassle.