Councils warn of new scams

The LGA has warned that criminals are cold calling residents asking for their bank details so they can receive the Government’s £150 energy rebate. 

This latest deception follows a sharp increase in scams during the pandemic, which included promises of a payment from HMRC to support individuals during the lockdown or offers of a vaccination booking – for a fee. 

The LGA is highlighting these new scams to remind residents that their local authority will not ask for bank details over the phone.

Instead, households which pay their council tax by direct debit will receive the energy rebate directly into their bank account. Anyone who does not will be sent a letter with details of how to claim.  

Anyone who unexpectedly receives a text, email or phone call seeking information or payment should not give out personal information, click any links or respond until they are certain it is genuine. 

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Vice-Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:  “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.”

Suspicious messages should be forwarded to 7726, a free reporting service provided by phone operators. Scams should also be reported to Action Fraud.

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