Insurance · 25 April 2018

Companies House scam emails are targeting directors with fake complaints

Companies House scam email
Fraudulent emails have been received by company directors claiming to be from Companies House

The government has warned directors and business owners to be aware of a new wave of malicious Companies House scam emails.

In an official post, Companies House said it had received reports of suspicious emails regarding company complaints.

It read: “We’re aware that some customers have received suspicious emails about company complaints. These emails are not from us.”

A screenshot was published to help potential victims identify the scam.

Companies House was initially alerted to the scam on Twitter, by Dovedale Design founder Robert Gibson.

Consumer Lookout tweeted further details of the Companies House email scam

Anyone who receives the Companies House email scam is invited to report it to Companies House

Spotting a fake in six steps

Noticing a growing number of micro business owners were being targeted with phishing emails claiming to be sent from HMRC, Lee Murphy, founder and CEO of Pandle, gave Business Advice readers an essential guide to spotting a scam from the real thing.

  1. Avoid email links

If an email asks for information regarding your taxes or finances, you can assume an ulterior motive is at play. Rather than clicking on the link in the email, manually type in the URL.

  1. Don’t give in to an electronic request

Instead of paying via the form you’re guided to, go to HMRC’s website and check amounts owed and pay there.

  1. Ask a professional

If you have an accountant, tag them in. They’ll be able to spot a fake far quicker than you might, and they also have an overview of your accounts.

  1. Go to the source

If you don’t have an accountant to go to the next best thing is to go straight to the source. Ask the company in question directly and find out if the request was real.

  1. Update your tech

Ensure that you have the latest anti-virus software installed and effective spam filters. A no-brainer, but a simple solution that could save you big.

  1. Set protocols

If you have employees, ground rules need to be set for dealing with email and printed payment requests. Your staff should always be aware of the best practice and should never put the company’s finances at risk.

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CEO fraud

 

What is CEO fraud and how can I identify it?

Business Advice unpicks one of the growing threats to small companies, asking what is CEO fraud, before consulting two experts on the typical tactics employed by scammers and how owners can protect their firm.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.

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