Scam Letters Impersonating Companies House

01/06/2024 - 5 minutes read

Scam letters impersonating Companies House have recently been received by clients who have set up new limited companies.

Scam letters impersonating Companies House look genuine with the Companies House logo and Cardiff address at the top, and includes an eight-digit payment code number.

The scammers inform the business’ director that they ‘wish to alert you to a time sensitive matter regarding your web filing access’.

They then go on to ask for an immediate payment of £48 to be transferred to HMRC via short url web address or QR code. The inclusion of the short url should be an immediate red flag as no government body or organisation would use a shortened web address to require a payment.

Never click on the short URL as it is a phishing attack and could infect computers with a virus or worse.

Scam letters impersonating Companies House also have a box with red text warning that companies that do not pay will be struck off the register.

The red warning states: ‘Failure to do so will regrettably result in the suspension of your web filing benefits’.

Scam letters impersonating Companies House even includes details of how to pay at a bank or building society, with the payee to be ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’. This payment would be processed of course, but the scam is targeting business owners who pay online or via the QR code.

The scam has been running for a few months so it is critical to ignore any demand for payment and never just pay a bill without verifying that the payment demand is genuine and the account details, if provided, are actually those of Companies House.

Scam letters impersonating Companies House

Scam letters impersonating Companies House

Scam letters impersonating Companies House – Letter about ‘payment code’

This is a scam letter asking for payment. Do not visit any webpage or QR code links, and do not make any payments to the details shown.

Letter from ‘Company Registry’ asking for payment

Companies house are aware of a scam letter from a sender called Company Registry asking for payment to confirm company details and activate a secure vault.

This is a scam – do not send any money to the bank account shown.

If you receive a suspicious letter, contact companies house immediately on 0303 1234 500. Never pay any money to the sender.

Scam telephone calls

Late filing penalty payment

Companies have been contacted asking for payment of a late filing penalty over the telephone. The caller says they’ll accept a payment of £5 by credit or debit to place a hold on any further action being taken.

Companies house will not contact you for immediate payment of a late filing penalty or request payment of a nominal fee to place a hold on any recovery action.

Payment plans are set up with the agreement of the manager dealing with your late filing penalty query. Companies house will not cold call you to take a payment.

Asking for your authentication code

Companies house will never ask you what your authentication code is over the phone.

If anyone calls you claiming to be from Companies House asking for your authentication code – try to get a return telephone number and contact Companies house immediately on 0303 1234 500.

Asking for directors’ details

Companies have been telephoned by people claiming to be from Companies House, who request details of their company’s directors.

After being advised there’s a discrepancy with the information held on the register, the caller requests information such as full dates of birth for directors.

How can MCL Accountants help?

Contact MCL Accountants on 01702 593 029 if you need any assistance with the preparation and submission of your business accounts or self-assessment tax returns to HMRC.