Cotswold District Council has issued a warning to residents to be aware of fraudulent council tax phone calls and emails after receiving several reports from residents.
People are receiving cold calls and emails about council tax from individuals who are claiming to be council staff. In each instance the persons were told that their council tax direct debit had failed and that payment was required over the phone.
Fortunately, the offenders did not succeed in obtaining correct bank details from residents and no money was stolen.
Police Sgt Garrett Gloyn, from Cirencester Police, said: “We received reports that scam calls have shown the call as coming from the district council’s telephone number. This was not the case and the way the calls were made is being investigated.
“We advise you not to engage with cold callers seeking your bank details even if you believe you know the number from which the call is being made.”
Cotswold District Council has confirmed that any residents who miss a payment of their council tax would receive a letter rathan that a telephone call.
What do you need to do?
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot and they will never ask for your PIN.
Report phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.