Coventry City Council e-mail scam warning

Published Friday, 28 August 2020

Council trading standards team is warning people to be aware of an e-mail being received by Coventry residents

The email tells the recipient that they are due a discount on their council tax and therefore can claim a refund on part of their payments. 

It alleges confirmation of a ‘Council Tax Reduction’ due for £395.50, after considering your Council Tax band and your income.

You are asked to click on a link to ‘apply now’ to claim reductions for the past two years. This is a phishing e-mail scam. The link does not take you to Coventry City Council Tax Department but a fake fraudster's website where you are asked to provide personal and bank details.

How to protect yourself

  • Do not click on any links or open attachments contained within any unsolicited emails.
  • If an email appears to have come from a person or organisation you know of, but the message is unexpected or unusual, contact them directly via another method to confirm that they sent you the email.
  • If you receive an email which asks you to login to an online account via a link provided in the email, instead of clicking on the link, open your browser and go directly to the company’s website yourself.
  • If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.
  • If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank, and report it to Action Fraud.

The Valuation Office Agency, who are responsible for determining the council tax band for your home, have provided some useful information about Council Tax scams and what you can do to avoid them. This is available via their website.

An example of the email is below:

Hi

Working out your Council Tax

You`ll need to know 3 things:

the valuation band for your home in England and Wales or in Scotland how much your local council charges for that band whether you can get a discount or exemption from the full bill

You are getting a Council Tax Reduction (this used to be called Council Tax Benefit) considering you`re on a low income or get benefits.

  • Total amount of benefits: GBP 395.50
  • The refund amount will be transferred directly on your Debit/Credit Card.

Apply now to claim the reductions made over your past 5 years of Council tax payments.

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