Council Tax Scams
Residents are advised to be on their guard after several reports of fraudsters contacting Suffolk residents by phone, text or email about their council tax.
One Suffolk resident has reported receiving an email from ‘Online Council TAX UK’ which claimed they were owed a refund, and requesting they provide their bank details via an online form.
The email quotes a ‘council.tax.gov.uk’ email address. This is not a legitimate Government email address. Suffolk Trading Standards has confirmed that fraudsters have been calling people pretending to be from councils and asking them to complete a survey. Again, the callers have no connection with any local councils.
People are advised not to engage with callers and not to give out any personal details, including bank details, if they receive unsolicited telephone calls, emails or texts.
HMRC Scam Calls
We have received more reports of Suffolk residents receiving calls from scammers pretending to be from HMRC. The most recent complaint received relates to the caller threatening a lawsuit.
The scammers pose as HMRC officials and inform the victim over the phone that the HMRC are filing a lawsuit against them. Usually this is a pre-recorded message that implores the victim to press 1 to “speak to a case officer”.
Victims can then be pressured into making payments to the criminals, or can have sensitive information stolen from them, making them vulnerable to identity fraud.
The advice to avoid these scams is simple, since the HMRC do not make calls to threaten lawsuits. So, if you do receive such a call, hang up the phone.
Rogue Fish Sellers
The rogue fish sellers appear to be back in the County. In February, there were reports of them being in Combs, Rattlesden, Old Newton, and Westhorpe.
Trading Standards regularly receive calls from home owners who have been duped or bullied into spending large amounts of money on poor quality fish, sometimes not even fit for consumption.
These traders travel nationally, cold calling consumers’ homes selling the fish. This is often misdescribed, mislabeled or unlabeled, overpriced and sometimes underweight.
If you spot something “fishy” in your area, or know someone who has, please call Suffolk Trading Standards on 03454 040506, or Suffolk Police on 101.