Fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate.
They normally say that this rebate should be worth about £7,000.
Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance. The payment they ask for varies between £60–£350.
The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone.
When they phone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.
The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.
Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.
Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate. If you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.
No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order to receive money, so never give them your card details.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
or by telephone 0300 123 2040.
Earlier this month (w/c 03 June, 2013), an elderly couple in Rutland were visited by two men who extorted £400 from them.
The men said that they were calling due to the warranty on the couple’s stair lift which was coming to an end, and that they needed to pay for a maintenance package.
The cost of this would be £400.
One of the men stayed with the lady in her home while the other escorted her husband the cash point where he withdrew the money.
The alarm was raised by the couple’s daughter when her father informed her later.
Police are now investigating.
If you are approached in a similar way please, do not open your door and contact the police on 999.
If you have any information about crime or anti-social behaviour in your area contact your local police on 101.
In an emergency, or if a crime is in action, please dial 999
A report has been received from Neighbourhood Watch regarding what appears to be a mobile phone scam. This scam may be operating in our area, so please pass this information on your friends, family and colleagues so that they are aware.
Incidents involve innocent people’s homes being used as a delivery address for mobile phones that they have not ordered. Police believe the phones are being ordered by criminals using a bogus account and they are using residents’ addresses to have them delivered.
The scam usually involves one or more mobile phones being delivered to a home owner who has not ordered the goods. The occupant is usually confused as to why the mobile phones have been delivered to their address when they haven’t ordered them. In the meantime the occupant receives a phone call from someone claiming to be from the mobile phone company that the phones have been sent from. They tell the home owner that the phones have been delivered to their address in error and that someone will visit them to collect them.
However, mobile phone companies have stressed that they would never send someone to collect the mobile phones, and that they would instead send out an envelope for the phones to be returned in via the post.
Please be aware of this scam and anyone who receives mobile phones that have not been ordered should make contact with the mobile phone supplier that they have been delivered from and send them back to the supplier using the envelope they provide you with.
Please report any incidents of this nature to Leicestershire Police on 101.
You are advised not to hand over the mobile phones to anyone. If an individual does visit your property to collect the mobile phones, please call Leicestershire Police on 999 immediately.