A SCAM alert has gone out over fraudsters from ‘GOV.UK’ offering ‘council tax reductions’.
The email is covered in the branding of the UK Government and is signed off by the ‘Government Digital Service Team’.
It invites recipients to click on a link to ‘Claim your Council Tax Reduction Now’ and when opened takes the resident to a website which has the same look-and-feel as the GOV.UK website and asks for personal details such as name, address and banking details.
However this message and website are fraudulent and anyone who enters their details are at great risk of losing money.
The alarm was raised by officers at Stratford District Council following reports of the rogue email arriving in inboxes.
How to avoid scams
Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
Local authorities have no legal power to suspend the collection of council tax and must collect council tax, unless or until central Government changes this.
Local authorities though have received funding from government to help those residents who get local council tax support as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To date, Stratford District Council, for example, has received £660,000 from the Government.
This funding is targeted at benefit recipients classed as ‘working-age’ who qualify for Local Council Tax Support.