Residents warned to beware of council tax rebate scammers

Published: Friday, April 22, 2022

Residents eligible for an energy rebate payment in a scheme designed to cushion the impact of rising fuel bills for families on lower incomes are being warned to be on their guard against scammers.

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Reports from other parts of the country suggest that fraudsters are using the scheme – which offers a one-off £150 rebate to those living in homes in council tax Bands A to D – to try and obtain sensitive personal information including their bank account details.

Some reports say that scammers are cold calling people and offering to process the payment if they reveal their bank details. Others are using fake emails to try and access this information.

Residents are being advised that councils would not require personal information to be divulged over the phone or via email and that any approaches seeking to elicit this information should be viewed with suspicion. Councils will never ask for people’s bank details over the phone or by email.

Households eligible for the support that pay their council tax by direct debit should automatically receive the £150 payment directly into their bank account.

People who pay their council tax in other ways will receive letters next month which will outline how they can claim the rebate. These will be official letters addressed to the person named as the council tax account holder.

Fraudulent text messages can be reported by forwarding them to 7726, a free reporting service provided by phone operators. Potential scams can also be reported to Action Fraud.