EAST RIDING COUNCIL trading standards service is warning residents to be extra vigilant about a telephone scam, which tries to trick people into giving out their bank account details in return for a promised council tax rebate.

The scam involves the fraudsters calling people to tell them they are owed a refund on their council tax. The fraudsters are very convincing saying they are ringing from the council or a central claims court in London, and seem to already know a number of personal details about the resident, lulling them into a false sense of trust. Crucially however, they ask for the resident’s bank account or card details in order for the money to be credited to their account.

The general advice being issued to the public is that they should not give out any bank account or credit card details to any unsolicited telephone calls that ask for such personal information.

Every year, three million people fall victim to such scams losing an average of £850 each, and sometimes a great deal more.  The scammers are clever, and all kinds of people from all walks of life get duped. If you let down your guard, you too could become a victim.

Colin Briggs, trading standards services manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:

Anyone who is due a refund on their council tax bill will be well aware of it as they will have been in contact with either the council or the valuation office agency. If you receive an unexpected call concerning council tax it is almost certain to come from someone who wishes to commit fraud against you.”

Any one affected by the scam can report it to Consumer Direct the Government’s consumer advice service on telephone 08454 040506.

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