Residents are being warned not to respond to scam emails offering refunds on their council tax bills.
Criminals are sending out so-called “phishing” emails using an email address which looks like it is from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) telling people they are due a council tax refund.
The fake emails are designed to capture sensitive financial information from victims, either by taking them to a fake website or by downloading malicious software on to computers that allow the fraudsters to track and trace how people use the internet.
Armed with these details the fraudsters can then begin to harvest people’s bank accounts.
People who receive this fake email should delete it straight away without clicking on any links or downloading any files it contains.
Cabinet member for finance Councillor Mark Allison said: “We would urge residents to be very vigilant if they receive these scam emails. Do not open them or download anything if you are not 100 per cent sure it is genuine.”
Anyone affected by this, or any other scam, should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
They can also report it to the Met Police’s Fraud Alert website which is regularly updated with information about the latest tricks and scams and contains tips and advice on how to avoid being conned. For more information visit www.met.police.uk/fraudalert.