Torbay Council has sent a new warning to residents over council tax scams after a Bay resident was telephoned by a woman with an American accent, calling herself Elizabet and stating she worked for Torbay Council.
The caller said the new coalition government was issuing council tax relief to residents. She then asked for bank details and stated the refund would be issued on to her bank within 45 minutes when she confirmed her bank details.
Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Community Engagement, Cllr Louisa Aiton, told the Devon Week: “We are extremely concerned by this call. We are grateful to the resident who contacted our customer service team to report the phone call.
“If Torbay residents receive any unsolicited phone calls or mailings they are not sure about, they can contact Consumer Direct South West, the Government-funded telephone and email advice service, on 08454 040506 or via www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
“Always be suspicious if you receive any unsolicited phone calls or mailings stating that you are entitled to money. If you do respond you could be asked, as in this incident, for your personal bank details.
“One of the warning signs to watch out for is when you receive an unsolicited letter, phone call or e-mail. If the offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
“It is disgraceful that anyone should be tricked into parting with money without getting anything in return. We hope that through publicity, we will help prevent local people falling foul of these types of scams.”
(from a press release)