Councillor’s advice over phone scam warning

Coun Peter Coupland
Coun Peter Coupland
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Residents in South Holland are being urged to be vigilant following a council tax phone scam which has been reported in other parts of the country.

Fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate.

Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate

They normally say that the rebate should be worth several thousand pounds.

Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay to an administration fee which can be hundreds of pounds.

After making the payment the victim is no longer able to contact the person they spoke to on the phone.

Coun Peter Coupland, South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder for finance: said: “We would like to make it clear that if anyone receives such a phone call to put the phone down straight away and report the incident to the police.”

The following advice has been issued by police to help protect against phone scams:

* Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.

* Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate. If you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.

* No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order to receive money, so never give them your card details.

* If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone on 0300 1232040.