Warning over fake Council Tax letter and email

Published: Tuesday, 15 September, 2020

Residents are being warned to be on their guard against a scam offering a reduction in Council Tax as part of the Government’s response to Covid-19.

The letters or emails may appear to have been sent from Stroud District Council, but in fact are a scam, designed to obtain people’s personal data and bank details.

Simon Killen, Stroud District Council’s Revenues & Benefits Manager warned:

“We have been made aware that there are a variety of scams associated with council tax refunds and discounts happening, both nationally and locally. If you have received any correspondence about a Council Tax refund or discount that asks you to click a link, then input personal details please delete it.

“If you are having problems paying your Council Tax, please contact us as soon  as  possible, preferably by email at revenue.services@stroud.gov.uk or if you don’t have internet access, by phone on 01453 766321 and speak with one of our customer  service advisers.

“If you have any doubts whether correspondence sent to you is genuine please contact us the same way and one of our officers will be able to help you.”

Fraudulent letters and emails can often be spotted by carrying out one of these checks:

  1. Check the web address

Stroud District Council’s web address is stroud.gov.uk

Fraudsters will often incorporate the letters `gov’ in a website, but in the wrong place – for example gov.stroud

  1. Check the addressee

A genuine letter about your council tax will always be addressed to the bill payer – never `The Occupier’

  1. Check the grammar

Scam letters and emails often use poor grammar and contain spelling errors.

Stroud District Council’s Leader, Cllr Doina Cornell added:

“It’s appalling that fraudsters are taking advantage of the fact that many residents are suffering financially as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Although Stroud District Council’s offices are currently closed to the public, our services are fully operational. If you phone us we will try and resolve your query, however please note that calls cannot be transferred as many members of staff are working from home. In some cases a call back will be requested if the matter cannot be resolved immediately.

More details can be found on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) service updates at: www.stroud.gov.uk/coronavirus

Advice on how to protect yourself from fraud can be found at Take Five – a national campaign offering advice that helps prevent fraud:  https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

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