Phishing emails from Companies House
We’ve all heard, or even seen, the many types of scam and phishing emails apparently from HM Revenue and Customs telling you that you have a tax refund due to you. Some of these emails look pretty convincing – but when you hover your mouse over the links you notice that they take you to an outside site where you are invited to input your bank account details. Hopefully nobody has been duped by this, but I guess some people do fall victim otherwise the scammers would just give up.
Well, the scammers have now moved on to a new government department – Companies House.
If you file your documents online with Companies House, you will be used to seeing a text based response email to the submission followed by an “acceptance” email to show that the document submitted has passed validation and will be filed. In this case you might not be surprised to receive an email from Companies House. A client has recently received an email apparently from Companies House regarding a “complaint” about the company. The email looks quite convincing but is actually bogus. When the client forwarded the email to me it was automatically deleted because of the virus but looking at the email via webmailI was able to see the email.
The body of the email looks like this:-
This message has been generated in response to the company complaint submitted to Companies House WebFiling service.
(CC01) Company Complaint for the above company was accepted on 23/10/2013.
The submission number is (deleted)
Please quote this number in any communications with Companies House.
All WebFiled documents are available to view / download for 10 days after their original submission. However it is not possible to view copies of accounts that were downloaded as templates.
Not yet filing your accounts online? See how easy it is…
Note: reference to company may also include Limited Liability Partnership(s).
Thank you for using the Companies House WebFiling service.
Service Desk tel +44 (0)303 0921 xxx or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This email was sent from a notification-only email address which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message.
The email has an attachment with the “complaint” details and the file echoes the “submission number” referred to in the email body – so it’s pretty clever.
If you call Companies House, there is an automated message about these scam emails. The message asks you to refer to the Companies House website here.
So – please ensure your anti-virus software is up to date and correctly configured.
If you receive an unexpected email from Companies House (or HMRC for that matter) be very careful – in all likelihood it is bogus because the only emails you are likely to receive from these sources will be in response to something that you have recently sent them. There are a few exceptions to this rule of course, because Companies House send email reminders to file the Annual Return and HMRC issue email reminders to file VAT Returns.