Cannock Chase Council is urging local residents to be vigilant due to a new council tax scam whereby criminals are targeting people across the District offering bogus refunds.
Fraudsters are contacting residents by text, email and phone to con them out of money and access personal bank details.
The scammers tell people they have paid too much council tax and are due a refund which they offer to claim on their behalf for a fee. A similar scam demands payment for council tax arrears.
The Council is urging anyone who receives an email, text message or phone call offering a council tax refund not to give out any personal information, particularly bank account details, or debit or credit card details.
They should delete the email or text, block the sender and make sure they do not reply or click on any links. Any such phone calls should be brought to an end as quickly as possible.
Councillor Carl Bennett, Leader of Crime and Partnerships, said:
“Cold-hearted criminals are using more convincing council tax scams which can damage people’s lives, both financially and emotionally, and anyone can be fooled by them, especially if they appear to look official.
“Anyone who is contacted by text about a council tax refund which includes a request for personal information and bank details should ignore it and report it.
“The Council will never text to ask for a payment to release a council tax refund or ask for personal bank details. If we do need to contact you about your council tax, we are more than happy for you to call us back on 01543 464285, or visit our offices.
“By reporting a scam, people can help someone else avoid being a victim.”
Anyone who receives a suspected council tax scam can report it to the Council’s Council Tax team on 01543 464285.