What is a scam?
A scam is a dishonest scheme designed to cheat you out of money. This is fraud and there are many different methods that fraudsters could try and use.
Recent reports of fraud and scams
The police are asking householders to be on their guard about council tax refund scams.
Fraudsters posing as council staff contact people via text, email or phone and tell them they’re due a refund. They may say this is due to an over-payment on their account or that their property is in the wrong tax band. We will never contact you in this way for a refund.
These scams generally say there will be a fee or they need your bank details to pay you the money. This is just a way for fraudsters to try and get your bank account details and other personal information.
If anyone contacts you about a council tax refund or assessment which includes a request for personal information and bank details, you should not give out any information and make sure you report it.
If you receive a text, email or phone call claiming you're due a council tax refund, ignore it and contact us directly. You can find the contact details yourself from an annual bill or our website. Never use the email address or telephone number on the email or text.
Tips to help you
- Never use the telephone number, web address or email that's provided in a text message.
- Always find the contact details yourself from a letter or website that you trust.
- Never reply to a suspicious text.
- Check the senders' email address to make sure it's genuine.
- Never click on the links or download attachments from unknown senders.
- Look closely at the spelling of the web address and check for any minor inconsistencies that may indicate a phishing website.
- Spelling mistakes may point to a phishing email.
- Use your spam filter. If you find a scam email, mark it as a spam and delete it. Then delete it again from your deleted items if you have one. This will stop the message from reaching your inbox again.
- Never give out personal information or bank details over the phone.
- If you're not sure if it's a genuine call, hang up and wait 10 minutes. Call the company back using a phone number you've got on a previous letter, or one you know is genuine.
Reporting a scam
If you've received a suspicious text, email or phone call, you can report this to Action Fraud or phone 0300 123 2040.