SCAM ALERT: Fraudsters tricking people with council tax emails

SCAM ALERT: Fraudsters tricking people with council tax emails

Published by Jack Deery at 12:34pm 13th April 2020.

2 minute read

Wiltshire Trading Standards have issued a warning to people in the county with some tips on how to spot the fake.

Scammers are trying to get people to hand over their financial details by sending emails pretending to be from the government. 

The message claims that the resident is owed a council tax refund and when a link is clicked, it takes them to a convincing GOV.UK-style website. 

Wilts Trading Standards council tax scam
It is quite a convincing government website

They then ask for your personal details so they can send you the cash, but you wouldn't receive any money and they're likely to take some from you. 

Wiltshire Trading Standards are trying to help people spot the fake website:

  • If you receive an e-mail, ring the council and check. Find your council's phone number yourself (don't use one quoted in the email) and give it a ring. It should be able to tell you if it's sent you an e-mail itself.
  • Watch out for bad spelling and grammar. Be vigilant if an e-mail is badly worded or littered with spelling mistakes.
  • Actual councils will likely proof-read their e-mails – so bad grammar, dodgy spelling and poor punctuation are likely to be picked up before any e-mails go out. But phishing e-mails aren't likely to go through such a rigorous process.
  • Check any web address you're linked to. If an e-mail links you to a website, check if it matches up with a known e-mail address.

They say council's do email people from time to time if they're owed council tax, so it's important to check before you click

Wiltshire Trading Standards say if you receive one don't assume it's legitimate and if you think it is a scam, report it to Action Fraud here www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime.

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