Households targeted by £150 council tax rebate scam – ‘Anyone can fall victim!’

GB News: Eamonn Holmes rages at council tax rises

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Earlier this year, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the £150 rebate would be readily available to households living in tax bands A to D, representing 80 percent of the UK’s population. Paid directly to claimants, households will not need to repay this rebate which has been created to help people with the cost of living crisis. However, the Local Government Association (LGA) is sounding the alarm that fraudsters are taking advantage of the council tax rebate to target households and take their hard-earned money.

The local Government body, which represents councils in England and Wales, is notifying potential victims of the “tell-tale” signs to look out for if they believe they are getting scammed.

This comes at a time when reports of fraud have seen a sharp increase over the pandemic as scammers have found new ways to target innocent people.

In this case, some people are being cold called by fraudsters who are asking them to share their bank details to claim the £150 rebate.

As a result of these scam reports, people across the country are being told to look out for signs of potential fraud when it comes to the council tax rebate.

As part of the LGA’s warning, households are being reminded that councils will not ask for bank details over the phone.

Through the rebate, all households who pay council tax by direct debit will receive the payment directly into their bank account.

On top of this, anyone who does not pay their council tax by direct debit will be sent a letter with precise instructions on how they can put forward their claim.

Furthermore, people who unexpectedly receive a text, email or phone call requesting information or payment should stop themselves from providing any personal information.

This includes sharing bank details, clicking any links or responding until it can be proven the person reaching out is genuine.

LGA is encouraging households to search for the correct contact details online of the organisation claiming to be in contact and check with them directly.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, the vice-Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, outlined how households could be at risk from this scam.

Mr Iyengar explained: “Councils are working hard to ensure eligible residents receive their energy rebate payments as soon as possible.

“However, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to take advantage of the financial worries people are facing and as a result many of these scams look legitimate on first impression.

“Anyone can fall victim to a scam, and we urge people of all ages to brush up on the tell-tale signs, and the support available to those who need it.”

The councillor also shared how people can report any scam cases, notably by contacting the country’s main fraud watchdog.

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for any crimes involving financial scams and victims are encouraged to reach out to receive support as soon as possible.

He added: “If you get sent a message that you believe to be fraudulent, you can report it to your mobile phone provider or by forwarding the message to 7726, a free reporting service provided by phone operators.

“You should also report the scam to Action Fraud to help others avoid falling victim in the future.”

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