Residents are warned to be on their guard against an e-mail scam promising council tax refunds in exchange for personal details.
Ribble Valley Borough Council has received concerns from residents who have been e-mailed by “Online Council Tax UK” and a “Miss Rourke” of “Unity Partnership” informing them that they are due a council tax refund, but need to complete an online form so the money can be credited to their bank account.
The e-mails also include an advertising banner from a Government agency to make them look credible.
Mark Edmondson, the borough council’s head of revenues and benefits, said: “At first glance the scam e-mails appear genuine, but they are not genuine and by clicking on the word, FORM, at the bottom of the e-mail residents will be forwarded to a web page that will put them at risk. Residents should never give their personal details to anyone they are not sure of and are advised to delete the e-mail immediately, if they receive it.
“We would like to remind residents that the council would never ask for bank details by e-mail.”
Residents are being urged to stay a step ahead of the scammers by following these simple steps: Don’t give your bank details to anyone contacting you by e-mail claiming to be from the council; Don’t let anyone into your home without checking their identification; Do verify the authenticity of Ribble Valley Borough Council staff by calling 01200 425111; Do inform the police if you believe anyone is impersonating council staff.