Telephone scammers target people in Royston and Letchworth over council tax ‘debt’

People in Royston and Letchworth are warned to be vigilant following a spate of bogus council tax ca

People in Royston and Letchworth are warned to be vigilant following a spate of bogus council tax calls. - Credit: Daniel WIlson

People in Royston and Letchworth have been warned to be vigilant following bogus calls about council tax arrears.

Herts County Council is urging residents to be wary of the scam – where fraudsters, claiming to be council officials, call victims up and tell them they are in arrears with payments and demands they disclose their bank details.

Scammers often use this tactic – known as vishing – where they cold-call people in a bid to get their bank details.

Each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to scammers, with the total cost to consumers estimated at £73bn.

Councillor Richard Thake is the cabinet member for community safety at the county council.

“Scams are not just a minor blight, they heap misery on people and in some cases can lead to financial ruin,” he said.

“It is vital that people report fraudulent cold callers so we can clampdown on con-artists and prevent people from falling victim to their underhand tactics.”

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Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team are working hard to protect vulnerable people from scams.

Over the last 18 months they have made more than 1,700 home visits, advised more than 1,100 people and identified more than 150 victims of scams.

If you think you have been contacted by scammers report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2024 or to the police on 101.

The Citizens Advice consumer service can also pass scam details onto Trading Standards if you have been scammed, think someone has tried to scam you, or know of someone responding to a scam, their contact number is 03454 04 05 06.

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