Councils warn Brits of new scam offering £150 ‘government’ tax rebate

Councils warn Brits of new scam offering £150 ‘government’ tax rebate

Scammers are cold-calling people and asking for their bank details in order for them to receive a £150 government energy rebate.

Councils have warned Brits that they should not give out their bank details until they are sure the caller is genuine.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated that the rebate would be offered to people with homes in council tax bands A to D in February.

It’s thought that the cash may help families struggling due to the escalating cost of living and high gas prices.

But, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned people to be alert to the scam as fraudsters try to take advantage of the situation.

They emphasised that councils will never request bank details over the phone.

This means that if you receive a text, email or phone call seeking information or payments you shouldn’t fall for the trick.

They may seek to get your bank details or ask you to click through a link, but you should avoid following it unless you are sure the message is genuine.

Eligible households who pay their council tax via direct debit will have the payment sent straight to their bank account.

Those who pay in an alternative way will be sent a letter with details on how to claim the rebate.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of scams reaching Brits though texts and phone calls in the years since the pandemic began.

Many claim to offer payments from HM Revenue and Customs while others say they require a vaccination fee and some even claim to be your doctor’s surgery.

Get all the biggest Lifestyle news straight to your inbox. Sign up for the free Daily Star Hot Topics newsletter

Mohan Iyengar, vice-chairman of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board told the BBC that councils are trying to ensure families get their tax rebate quickly.

He noted: "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."

You can report scams by forwarding fraudulent text messages to 7726.

The free service is provided by some phone operators.

And, you can inform Action Fraud of any phone calls or scam attempts too.

Source: Read Full Article