/ Scams

Scam alert: GOV UK parking penalty charge email

A fake email purporting to be from the HM Courts & Tribunals Service is doing the rounds. It’s another phishing scam out to steal your bank details – here’s what it looks like.

We know from all our previous scam warnings that panic is a key tactic for scammers – they want to rush you into action before you’ve had a chance to process all the information.

Getting a parking ticket will often achieve exactly that, especially when it tells you that the penalty charge will increase if you don’t pay it within a certain time.

And this phishing email takes it further, not just threatening you with an increased fine, but a county court claim, too.


Threats like this can carry weight, which is exactly why it’s essential you take a minute to assess any email you receive before carrying out its instructions.

While at first glance this email may look legit, a closer inspection will reveal it’s not the full ticket – always be on the lookout for spelling mistakes, such as ‘penality’, and sentences that don’t quite add up (‘click here for more informations’).

Guide: how to spot a scam email

Inspection of the sender’s email on your device will also show that it was not sent from a genuine GOV.UK account.

HMCTS warns about email scams

The biggest giveaway, of course, should be the fact that HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not issue Penalty Charge Notices.

HMCTS has issued a warning against this type of phishing scam. It states:

Fraudsters will copy the HMCTS logo and attempt to make the notice look genuine.

Any genuine email from HMCTS will be sent from an @justice.gov.uk email address. If in doubt, hover over the email address to see the true identity.

If you receive an email on a phone, you can check the address by clicking on ‘display name’.

If you’ve received this email, HMCTS recommends reporting it to Action Fraud, which you can do so by forwarding it to report@phishing.gov.uk

Phishing emails can always be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre on report@phishing.gov.uk

If you’re concerned that you may have given your bank details to scammers, contact your bank immediately and let it know what’s happened. You can follow our guide to getting your money back after a scam here.

Have you received this fake email, or any others purporting to be from government departments? Let us know in the comments, and help warn others by sharing our scam alerts with your friends and family.


had this scam today
The clue is there is no reg number, no name or address and no info on where the offence was supposed to have taken place, these people need catching and made an example of. They are the scum of the earth.

Geoff Ashton says:
26 June 2021

Just received this scam email. No details of vehicle or location of offence, dodgy email address and spelling mistakes. I reported it to: report@phishing.gov.uk
I recommend that you do the same.

JayZS says:
2 July 2021

With so many warnings to us (and therefore to the scammers) I am surprised that any scams still contain grammatical or spelling errors. Not a reliable way to check on an email. I had a genuine text from my health centre recently that began; “Are records show….” Spelling and grammar are becoming universally bad these days.

Yes, Jay – and some people are still telling us that scams are getting more “sophisticated”!