Scams and rip-offs
HMRC Warning on Spoofs, Scams & Phising
HM Revenue & Customs has warned that spoof emails are circulating using HMRC's name (or Inland Revenue). These look like they are from HMRC or IR, and contain a link to a website which looks legitimate and asks for personal details such as bank account. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will never send notifications of a tax rebate by email, or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email. HMRC asks that all such emails be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information is on the HMRC website
Health & Safety Scams
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) warns that employers should ignore requests from companies asking for a fee to ensure compliance with health and safety law.
The HSE specifically identifies the following organisations, but there may be others operating in similar ways:
1. An organisation called "Health and Safety Registration Enforcement Division" is sending out requests for payment "in order to achieve compliance with the law". The requests are sent from a Bradford address and quote £199 for registration if 'compliant' or £249 if 'non-complaint'. The HSE is asking anyone receiving such a letter to report it to their local HSE office or the police.
2. An organisation calling itself "Health and Safety Enforcement Agency" has been sending out letters demanding £125 for a "health and safety compliance pack".
3. An organisation called "Health and Safety Compliance Agency" has been saying (totally wrongly) that a health and safety compliance register will shortly become law and that all businesses should send £129.95 for registration.
These organisations have nothing to do with the HSE and are misrepresenting H&S law.
Watch out for commercial firms offering to provide fire risk assessment services; some such companies are using risk assessment services as a way to promote, often unnecessary, sales of fire protection equipment and services. If in doubt check with your local Fire & Rescue Service. The HSE has asked organisations receiving information from these companies to report it to their local HSE office. More information is on the HSE website.
Data Protection Scams
A number of bogus agencies are operating across the UK demanding money to register organisations under the Data Protection Act (DPA). The statutory fee for notification under the DPA is £35.00; these bogus agencies typically demand more than this, usually using official-looking headed paper, sometimes with wording that appears threatening. Practices should in any event have already notified under the DPA, and any such approaches from these agencies should be ignored. Any practice which has not already notified under the DPA should do so by phoning 0303 123 1113 or by visiting the Information Commissioner's Office website
- GOV.UK - Fraud and scam emails: how to avoid being conned
- Action Fraud - information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime
- HMRC - Advice about online Security
- Get Safe Online Website