Phone fraud fear as watchdogs warn of con artists on the line

Scam phone callers claim to offer a tax rebate in exchange for cash up front

Scam phone callers claim to offer a tax rebate in exchange for cash up front - Credit: Archant

Has someone called you offering a council tax rebate? Don’t be fooled, says Central Beds Council – it’s a scam.

The caller claims to work for the ‘council administration department’, and tells the would-be victim that he is eligible for a rebate worth thousands of pounds because his home has been placed in a lower tax band, but needs to pay an advance fee to get this processed.

If such a rebate really existed there would be no such fee, let alone one in advance.

Attempting to extort money by promising victims larger sums in return is a classic confidence trick, dating back centuries. It is sometimes called a 419 scam or a Spanish prisoner scheme.

“Telephone con artists can often sound very convincing and make you an offer that seems too good to turn down,” said deputy executive member Councillor Tony Brown.

“In reality, though, if you fall for their scam then it is you who will end up out of pocket.

“If you do receive one of these calls then do not give out any personal information or bank details. Instead, take the caller’s contact details and then check whether the person ringing was genuine.”

For more information on how to protect yourself from fraud, or to report anything suspicious, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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