Unsolicited / phishing emails
Be suspicious of unsolicited emails, even if they look like they're from a trusted source.
Companies House will never ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email. If you have any doubt that an email you receive from Companies House is genuine, please do not follow any links, open any attachments, disclose any personal details or respond to it.
Please forward it to Companies House at firstname.lastname@example.org then delete it.
Companies House is unable to investigate paper copies of suspicious emails/websites. In order for us to take any action, you will need to forward the original suspicious email to email@example.com
Companies House will review all emails received but will not respond to them individually. You may receive an automatic email response from Companies House saying that your email has been stopped and held in quarantine. Please ignore this message.
Some examples of phishing emails:
Find out more about phishing
You can find more information on government agency scams by visiting Get Safe Online, a jointly funded initiative between government departments and private sector businesses.
Making your online experience as secure as possible
Electronic communication and transactions are a key part of Companies House business. However, the advantages that online transactions provide can also give rise to the risk of fraud - individuals claiming to be someone they are not, and obtaining information they are not entitled to.
Companies House, in common with all providers of online services, is committed to your security - but you need to be alert.
The methods fraudsters use to obtain the information they want is constantly changing, so Companies House provides updates on the type of scams it is aware of. The main risk involves stealing identities or online access details.
Please do everything you can to ensure that the identifiers and passwords you use when accessing Companies House systems are kept secure and updated regularly. You should not divulge your online login details to anyone.
Any suspicious activity should be reported to Companies House immediately.
How to protect yourself online
- Login details
Keep your login details secure. Do not write them down or tell anyone what they are, including Companies House staff.
Use strong passwords. Remember to make them unique so they cannot be easily guessed by someone else. They should always contain a mix of letters and numbers. Try to avoid using common phrases or anything obvious like your name or date of birth. Change your password regularly; we suggest that you do this at least once every three months.
- Anti-virus software
Make sure your computer has anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and that it is continually updated allowing it to check the contents of the files on your computer against the information it holds about known viruses.
- Personal firewall and secure wireless network
Make sure any computer which connects to the internet has appropriate firewall protection to block any unauthorised connections being made. If you're using a wireless network, ensure it is secure.
- Update your web browser
Use the most up to date version of your preferred web browser; this could reduce your chance of falling victim to online phishing scams, by displaying messages to alert you.
- Keep your operating system up to date
Make sure you download and install updates regularly.
- Mobile Devices
If you are using mobile devices to communicate with Companies House make sure that you use anti-virus software relevant to that device. Security for mobile devices is just as important as for your home computer.
- Social Networking
Please be careful about the detail you provide when social networking. Never disclose personal information.
- Sensitive information
Never enter sensitive information such as account details, PINs or passwords via a website link within an email.
- Secure websites
Ensure websites are secure - look for the prefix 'https' and a locked padlock or unbroken key symbol. Check the authenticity of a secure website by double clicking on the symbol. Contact the website owner on a known or independently verified phone number. Companies House provides regular updates on scams they are aware of.
Please do everything you can to ensure that the identifiers and passwords you use when accessing Companies House systems are kept secure and updated regularly.
- Attachments and emails
Beware of attachments and emails - even if they appear innocent, they could contain a virus designed to steal your personal information.
- Bogus websites
Type the full address of secure websites into your browser, rather than searching for it - this helps avoid being misdirected to a bogus site.
- Websites charging for services
Some websites offer services which Companies House will provide free of charge. These include premium rate connection charges to Companies House Helplines.