Teignbridge District Council is warning residents not to divulge their personal details over the phone as bogus callers target the area.
Fraudsters claiming to be from the council have contacted residents informing them that they may be eligible for a Council Tax refund, before asking them for their bank account details, card details, PIN numbers and three digit credit card security code.
Sometimes the caller says an overpayment has been made, and the amount can be refunded if the victim provides their bank details. Other cases have involved the caller asking for a one off administration fee so the refund can be processed.
Any resident who has given their account or card details to a caller like this should contact their bank immediately.
Teignbridge District Council may occasionally ask for payment details by phone when seeking payments for overdue tax bills, but will always be happy for residents to phone back via the council’s switchboard, or use the automated payment line on 01626 215353.
Tracey Hooper, Teignbridge District Council’s Revenue, Benefits and Fraud manager, told the Devon Week: “We are urging our residents to stay vigilant against call scams like this, and remind them that Teignbridge District Council does not contact people by phone to offer Council Tax refunds.
“While we will sometimes ask for financial details to collect payment for an overdue bill, we will always be happy for you to phone us back or use our automated payment line instead.
“Our advice is to always ask the caller’s name and if you are in doubt at all don’t be fooled into giving away private information, please hang up and call the Council back directly.”
Residents are urged to report any suspect calls to Tracey Hooper, Teignbridge District Council’s Revenue, Benefits and Fraud Manager on 01626 215266 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
(from a press release)