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Warning after bogus Redbridge Council employees target residents

PUBLISHED: 17:38 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:38 19 March 2018

You can check a council worker's credentials by calling a number Picture: Google Maps.

You can check a council worker's credentials by calling a number Picture: Google Maps.

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Fraudsters are posing as Redbridge Council employees as part of a scam.

The council is advising people to be vigilant after bogus local authority workers have been targeting residents and telling them they are eligible for a Council Tax rebate.

A council spokeswoman told the Recorder that the fraudsters calls the potential victims and informs them that they are owed money - usually because their Council Tax band is too high.

They then go on to tell victims they can get a refund once a fee payment is made in advance, and ask for bank details.

The council is advising residents to never respond to an unsolicited phone call and stressed the local authority would never phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a Council Tax rebate.

It would also never ask you to pay a fee in advance.

Councillor Shelia Bain, cabinet member for civic pride, said: “It’s really important that residents stay alert.

“We are working to stamp out fraud and protect our residents from becoming a victim to it.

“Help us to stop these criminals by being alert and reporting fraud to us or to Action Fraud.“

Redbridge Council is advising residents who think they have been a victim of fraud to hang up the phone and wait five minutes before making another call as there has been a trend of fraudsters keeping the line open.

They should then call their bank or card issuer to report the fraud, using a different phone line to make the phone call if possible.

It has also shared advice about what to do if you are concerned about the legitimacy a person who contacts you in person or over the phone.

If you are worried about a Trading Standards officer, a council officer or a tax inspector, you can check their credentials by calling 0208 708 5000.

You can also call Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on 0300 200 3700 if the situation is tax related.

If you have been a victim of fraud, after waiting for five minutes and cancelling you cards, report it to Action Fraud by calling on 0300 123 2040 or by visiting actionfraud.police.uk

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