Warnings over fraudulent calls by people claiming to be from Northampton Borough Council have been issued this morning.
A suspicious call was reported by a member of the public on Tuesday November 22. The fraudulent caller claimed to be from the council and offered a council tax refund before requesting sensitive information, including bank details.
Today, the borough council urged people to stay alert to unusual requests and has issued the following advice to help identify a genuine call:
A spokesperson for Northampton Borough Council said: “We are concerned that these scammers are targeting Northampton residents and we would like to be able to do what we can to try to make people aware.
“Scammers will pretend to be calling from any number of reputable organisations in order to dupe people. If you are ever in doubt that you are speaking to a genuine operative, hang up and call them back on a number that you trust does belong to that organisation. In the case of Northampton Borough Council, please call our contact centre on 0300 330 7000.”
"The borough council will rarely call you unexpectedly about payments or refunds and demand immediate action.
"Important matters such as council tax payments are more usually communicated in writing, either through the post or via email
"The borough council does not withhold its number," the spokesman added.
If you do suspect that the call is not genuine, hang up and call the Borough Council on 0300 330 7000. If possible use a different phone to contact the council as that reduces the risk of the fraudster remaining on the line.
Consumer body, Which?, offers some helpful advice on how to identify and avoid phone scams on their website: www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/phone-scams
Northamptonshire Police is supporting the take five campaign and has also recently offered advice on how to stop phone scams: www.northants.police.uk/news/2016-11-18/police-support-national-campaign-designed-tackle-finacial-fraud.