Warning about new ‘Companies House scam’

Companies House has been prominently mentioned in a scam letter demanding payments from businesses. A Cumbrian business received this convincing fake letter, prompting Saint & Co Chartered Accountants to alert others about the fraudulent demand.

The letter, masquerading as an official communication from Companies House, demanded £48 within seven days for a non-existent service called 'Enhanced Web Filing Access'. Saint & Co's clients reported the letters, which appeared to be from the government agency.

To prevent further victims, the accountancy firm is actively raising awareness about this scam. Businesses are advised to stay vigilant and verify any unexpected payment demands supposedly from Companies House.

Lindsay Farrer, a managing partner at Saint & Co, said: “A client who had recently been registered as a limited company flagged this correspondence to us to check the validity of the demand, because at first glance it looks very convincing and a genuine request.

“The small amount of £48 also makes it more believable as many people associate scams with high-value sums.

“But on closer inspection there are minor errors which meant we were able to determine this was a scam, which has since been confirmed by Companies House.

“The first thing to point out is that ‘Enhanced Web Filing Access’ isn’t a service which exists, but that is not instantly identifiable to businesses, especially newly created ones.

“There are a few spelling errors, such as ‘deatails’ and the use of ‘u’ instead of ‘you’, which may be hard to spot if you’re not looking out for them, while the most glaring error was the payment request suddenly switches to HMRC from Companies House on the second page.

“We want to raise awareness of these fake letters to businesses to prevent them falling into the trap, and we would recommend that clients always run business correspondence like this by us so we can check if they’re genuine.”

The fake correspondence from Companies House was printed with the agency’s letterhead, correct address and contact details.