£150 council tax rebate scheme is attracting the attention of fraudsters warns Action Fraud and Age Concern
Households waiting for their £150 council tax rebate are being warned not to fall victim to a scam which promises to send them the money straight away.
Councils across the country are currently processing a refund for council tax payers, which is coming as part of a packet of measures from the government to help people manage the escalating cost of living and the rising price of energy bills this year.
From this month those in bands A to D are set to begin receiving the £150 lump sum payment, which won't have to be paid back, with some councils now making the first of those payments to the thousands of council tax payers in their borough or district. South Kesteven District Council has previously said rebates will be sent out from April 25.
While those who pay by direct debit are set to see the money put directly into their bank accounts, where local authorities don't hold payment details for residents these homes won't receive the money automatically and other arrangements may have to be made, with council officers tasked with finding alternative ways to get people the £150 they're owed.
But as millions await their payment, fraudsters are said to be exploiting the situation and posing as council staff promising to wire tax payers the money they need immediately.
The telephone scam, which is preying on those awaiting for the help to pay their bills, attempts to fraudulently obtain people's personal financial information, card details and bank information.
Scores of councils across England including in Kent, Manchester, Devon and Somerset, have been forced to warn people about the scam on their websites and social media channels while Age Concern has also put a warning on its website asking people to be particularly vigilant this month.
The charity, which supports the elderly, warns: "We have become aware of a scam phone calls and an email circulating, concerning the £150 Council Tax rebate recently announced by the Chancellor.
"People are being asked to give their bank details to receive the rebate. Local councils say they would never cold call or email and ask for your bank details to make the payment. Do not give out your details."
Action Fraud, which oversees reports of cyber crime and fraud across the country, says it received its first reports of the scam some time ago when the plans were first unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
However as April has got closer and the time for the pay-outs has neared, there have been increasing numbers of reports registered with the organisation of scammers posing as council staff and offering to give people their money.