National Warnings Issued About Fraudsters

Dear all,
The following has come from Cotswold District Council. However I am getting a number of alerts in regards fraudulent calls, emails and letters from people pretending to be from TV Licensing, HMRC, local councils, insurance companies and banks. Please read the following and be aware of who is asking you for information.
Kind regards
Cat, Town Clerk

Action Fraud has issued national warnings about fraudsters who are pretending to be from local councils or the HMRC.

People are receiving cold calls and emails about a council tax over payment from individuals who appear to work for a local council. The emails often contain phishing links, which direct the recipient to a website where they will be asked to provide personal data.

Action Fraud has also experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public which appear to originate from HMRC.

The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.

If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or – in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin – deportation.

Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.

What you need to do

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.

GRCC Performance Improvement for All (PIFA) Project

Following successful information events on Health and Safety, Human Resources and Data Protection last year, the GRCC PIFA Project is running 2 free, informal presentation sessions on changes in discrimination legislation and managing employment costs.

These workshops are free to voluntary and community sector organisations in Gloucestershire and you can attend one or more sessions.

Each  2 hour session will be led by a specialist, with tea, cakes and time for questions and a chat with the experts.
•    Changes in discrimination legislation – 27th October at Bowden Hall Hotel, Gloucester from 4-6pm    
•    Managing your employment costs in tough times – 10th November at Bowden Hall Hotel, Gloucester from 4-6pm

For further details, please visit the GRCC website or contact Thomas Davis at GRCC.
01452 528491 www.grcc.org.uk
The GRCC PIFA Project is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund