Local householders are being urged Not to act on Council Tax rebate emails that are circulating at the minute as they are not real
Carmarthenshire County Council’s trading standards who have been looking into these emails have said that this is “an online scam and another attempt to get residents bank details”
Recently emails have been received by local residents, claiming to be from a GOV.UK email address and the content says that its recipient is entitled to a refund of a certain amount on their council tax.
The email goes on to say that they should click on the link to get the money paid into the bank faster.
Officers are warning people not to click on the link and say if anyone is a due a refund it will be indicated on the usual credit bill that is posted out by the council tax section and not sent by email.
Carmarthenshire council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “This seems to be doing the rounds again and is just another ploy to get residents to hand over their bank details – it is a scam. If anyone receives an email like this or is unsure as to the validity of such a notice then please contact our council tax section. Do not click on the link included in it.”
Phone Calls and Door Visit Scam
Additional to the Emails Swansea residents have reported receiving phone calls and visits to their homes from scammers saying they are eligible for a Council Tax refund or a reduction in their Council Tax band.
If you receive a phone call, email, home visit or text message about a Council Tax refund do not respond as it may end up costing you money. Scammers often ask for a fee for something you can do yourself at no charge.
For example, if you do genuinely feel that there is a mistake in the council tax band that your home is placed in and you wish it to be reviewed you can do this very easily and for no cost on your own.
All you need to do is get in touch with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Wales, they are always happy to help and there is loads of useful information on the government website about challenging a Council Tax band Here
Dyfed Powys Police Advise How to Spot a Scam Email
Dyfed Powys Police have released some useful information about how to spot a scam email as follows:
- If you are being contacted out of the blue it should ring alarm bells.
- Banks, building societies and official institutions such as HM Revenue & Customs say they will never ask for bank details or passwords.
- Question it if you are being hurried into making a decision or acting - Conmen will often try to hurry your decision making, so make sure you take your time to consider if it’s a genuine email.
- A time limit on an offer or request for details should also raise questions.
Think these three things when looking at an email you suspect to be a scam…
- Is it too good to be true?
- Is it designed to worry you?
- Does the email look professional?
Remember Fraudsters can be clever and use dates, such as tax return deadlines to mock up emails from HM Revenue & Customs, or the beginning of an academic year to target university students with fake messages purporting to be from the Student Loans Company, of a start of new Council tax Year with fake emails from your local council.
Dyfed Powys Police Advise What to do if you’ve Receive a Scam Email
Dyfed Powys Police have some simple tips on what to do if you think you have received a dodgy email:
- Do not click on any links in the scam email.
- Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way.
- If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.
- Do not open any attachments that arrive with the email.
- If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.
- If you've been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.