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Watch for these fake council tax emails

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15/05/2020
People are being warned of a new fake council tax email offering a payment discount, as unscrupulous scammers continue to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.

An email scam is now doing the rounds, claiming to offer a council tax reduction.

The phoney email is emblazoned with the UK government branding and is signed off from ‘The Government Digital Service Team’.

It quotes an annual reduction amount and asks the recipient to click a link to “claim your council tax reduction now”.

The link takes the recipient to a convincing page, also in UK government branding, asking for personal details including name, address and banking details.

It is yet another ‘phishing scam’ attempting to steal the details of unsuspecting members of the public.

As of mid-May, Action Fraud reports that over £3.5m has been stolen from the UK public in coronavirus-related scams since lockdown began.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said it has witnessed a seemingly endless stream of new scams targeting the public.

CTSI lead officer, Katherine Hart, said: “This is yet another email scam using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to target an increasingly vulnerable public. I am deeply concerned that people may fall prey to this, since many are out of work, or furloughed, and would welcome a council tax refund.

“If anyone receives an email like this, do not click the link and report it to Action Fraud. CTSI and our partners in the consumer protection landscape are working hard to inform the public about emerging scam activity, and assist with its prevention.”

To report instances of scam emails, or other suspected scam messages, go to the Action Fraud website, or if in Scotland, call Police Scotland on 101.

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