Published Thursday, 31st December 2015
We have been alerted to a council tax refund scam currently operating in our area in which the scammers send residents a text message, telling them that they are entitled to a council tax refund.
The text message contains a link that direct residents via a Spanish site to a website that has been made to resemble an official GOV.UK government website. The site then asks for personal information, bank details and a card number.
The text reads: “Dear Customer. Please note that we have to refund you the amount: 422.40 GBP council tax fee for the past year. Please visit http:/online-council-tax.co.uk”
Do not provide your personal details
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council do not contact our residents by text about their Council Tax accounts or to ask for bank or other personal details. We will only advise someone of a refund due by sending out a bill showing the credit balance.
We also don’t phone residents to ask for bank or personal details; we ask them to call us on 01737 276000 about their accounts so they can be sure they are talking to council officers.
If you receive one of these texts, please do not click the link but delete the message. On no account should you enter your details. If you are unsure, please contact us.
We are aware of at least two residents so far who have been contacted.
We have reported the scam to Surrey Police. It is the latest in a series of national scams around council tax refunds, which can also involve phone calls and emails.
If you have been a victim of this scam and entered your personal details, or a similar scam, please contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online or by phone 0300 123 2040.