Warning to residents over fake emails promising council tax refunds

Published: Wednesday 4th January 17

Residents are being warned to be on their guard against internet fraudsters after fake emails began resurfacing promising people a refund on their council tax bills.

Criminals are again sending out so-called “phishing” emails using an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) email address that tells people they are due a council tax refund.

The emails are designed to capture sensitive financial information from victims, either by taking victims to a fake website or by downloading malicious software on to computers that allow the fraudsters to track and trace people’s internet usage. 

Armed with these details the fraudsters can then begin to harvest people’s bank accounts.

People who receive this email should delete it straight away without accessing any weblinks or downloading any files it contains.

The council first sounded the alarm about this fraud in November and there are reports that the email has now reappeared.

Community safety spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “These emails are a complete and utter con. People should be very wary of them and never open or download anything if they are not 100 per cent sure it’s genuine.”

Anyone affected by this, or any other scam, should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

They can also report it to the Met Police’s 'Fraud Alert' website. This is designed to equip the public with the tools they need to protect themselves against fraud.

It is regularly updated with information about the latest tricks and scams and contains tips and advice on how to avoid being conned. For more information visit www.met.police.uk/report/fraud.

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