Erewash Borough Council has warned residents to be ‘scam savvy’ after a wave of bogus council tax and coronavirus scams have been reported. The problem has been escalated by scammers taking advantage of more people accessing online services since lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fraudsters are contacting residents across the country via texts, emails and phone calls offering to claim refunds for overpayments on their behalf and to demand payment for arrears.

People are also being warned about possible scams in relation to the new NHS Test and Trace service. Genuine contact tracers will never ask for any bank details, passwords or pin numbers – any communication from them will be asking you to sign into the NHS Test and Trace website.

Scammers have also tried to convince homeowners that their property is in the wrong council tax band and offered to claim refunds for a £150 fee, even though band reassessments are available for free. The conmen claim to represent local councils or the Valuation Office Agency and some use government branding to make their scam seem genuine.

Councillor Wayne Major, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources, says:

“These scams are being generated by a new type of fraudster who takes advantage of those who are using online services and those who are isolated and vulnerable. We want to make all our residents aware of the scams and stay alert. The council will never phone, text or email someone to ask for a payment to release any council tax refund – nor will we ask for personal bank details in this way. I would urge anyone who is contacted as part of these latest scams to let us know immediately.”

Anyone who receives something they think is suspicious should contact the council’s revenues team on 0115 907 1000.
Residents can visit the Action Fraud website for details of all scams and how to report crimes.