Would an email telling you about a reduction to your council tax sound too good to be true?
Yep! Us too!
We have been alerted to a new scam doing the rounds online, and as we feel it is our duty to keep you up to date with the latest in digital dangers, get a load of this…
Stratford Council have had complaints from residents who have received an email, bearing all the signs of a genuine Government email, but promising things that really are too good to be true.
With the correct logos, fonts and even style and tone of writing, these emails inform home owners that they are about to benefit from a reduction in their council tax rate, and requests a response with personal details such as names, addresses, and you guessed it, bank details.
Anyone who submits this information is in great danger of suffering huge financial losses pretty quickly, such is the speed that these scammers work at, and the size of the operation and organisations behind them.
Organised crime is, after all, organised, and if it wasn’t profitable, it wouldn’t be so commonplace.
Think you’ve received a fraudulent email? Here’s what to do…
Firstly, stop and think about it. Is it too good to be true?
Secondly, challenge it. If it’s legitimate, the council (or whoever the sender is) will be patient enough to respond to your questions.
Finally, protect yourself. Don’t give out any personal details or banking information, whatever you do. If you slip up and do give something away, contact your bank immediately.
As far as this scam goes, a little knowledge doesn’t go a miss either, and it’s a fact that Local Authorities don’t have the power to suspend Council Tax suspension, even during times of crisis, such as the one we’re all still reeling from, so don’t believe any email promising anything of the sort.
Criminals will always look to take advantage of a situation. This time round, these emails look to prey on people who may be desperately seeking some kind of reduction in their outgoings, and an email like this might seem like the break they’ve been waiting for.
There is some support out there with Council Tax, for people of working age who have been affected by coronavirus, however this will take time to cascade down and will be nothing like the fanciful reductions promised in this prime example of an attempted scam.
Be on the lookout, and be aware. Not just for yourselves either.
Look out for vulnerable friends, family and neighbours, wherever possible, because as we all know, vulnerable people are far more likely to fall victim to something like this than the rest of the population.
That said, it can happen to anyone, at any time.
Watch out, scammers are about.