Avoid and Report Internet Scams and Phishing

Avoid and Report Internet Scams and Phishing

Report misleading websites, emails, phone calls or text messages you think may be suspicious.

Don’t give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.

Misleading websites

Some websites can look like they’re part of an official government service or that they provide more help than they actually do.

This might mean you pay for services that you could get cheaper or for free if you used the official government service, eg renewing a passport.

Search on GOV.UK to find official government services – eg if you want to apply for a driving licence or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Contact Action Fraud to report misleading websites. You must include:

  • the website address or URL
  • how you found the website
  • why you thought it was an official government website

You can report misleading adverts on Google if you’ve clicked on a URL that appears above the normal search results.

HMRC phishing emails and tax scams

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will never use texts or emails to:

  • tell you about a tax rebate or penalty
  • ask for personal or payment information

Forward any suspicious emails to [email protected] or check HMRC’s guidance on recognising scams if you’re not sure.

Report a disclosure of personal details to HMRC

Contact HMRC at [email protected] if you think you’ve given any personal information in reply to a suspicious email or text.

Include brief details of what you disclosed (eg name, address, HMRC User ID, password) but don’t give your personal details in the email.

Visas and immigration

You’ll never be asked to pay for a visa using:

  • cash
  • money transfer

Contact Action Fraud to report visa and immigration scams. You should include:

  • a copy of the suspicious email you received, the sender’s email address and the date and time it was received
  • details of what you sent in a reply, if you replied – eg whether you sent your bank details, address or password

You can also report suspicious emails, letters or telephone calls to the police through Action Fraud.