The public is being warned of scammers taking advantage of the Government’s new Council Tax rebate scheme to target vulnerable people and steal their money. The scheme sees people across the country given £150 towards their energy bills after a huge rise in the cost of gas and electricity at the start of April.
Now consumer champion Which? has warned that crooks are taking advantage of the scheme while the Local Government Association (LGA) has spoken of a recent spate of cold calls offering energy rebates that are actually scams, reports WalesOnline.
According to Which?, the scammers claim they are linked to the local council of their victims and say the refund is due, then ask for bank details in order to pay out the £150 rebate.
Read more:When and how North East people will get their £150 council tax rebate
Victims of the scam have given out their bank details and seen large sums of money taken from their bank accounts shortly after the phone call. The LGA has said councils don’t ask for bank details over the phone.
All households in England in council tax bands A to D will be eligible for the rebate, which isn’t means tested and doesn’t need to be repaid. Those who pay for council tax by direct debit will receive the money directly into their bank account.
If you don’t pay your council tax via direct debit then you will be sent a letter with details of how to claim. Which? says variations of the scam are also being sent by email and text message.
A spokesman said: “Don’t be tempted to respond to these texts and emails, if you don’t currently pay your council tax by direct debit, you should wait to receive your letter from the council that will explain how to claim the rebate.”