The council is urging people to be careful following reports of council taxpayers across the region being targeted by fraudsters.
Residents have informed the council that they have received a text message entitled ‘overpayment’ inviting them to apply for a refund on their council tax. The message reads:
“After calculating your council tax year ending 2018 we discovered you qualify for a refund. Visit: www.******.com and enter your post code”.
The link opens a web page that requests the user to enter personal details such as full name, date of birth, postcode and mother’s maiden name. This web page resembles the government’s .GOV.UK website – but it is false.
North Lincolnshire Council will never contact you by text to invite you to apply for a council tax refund. If you are in doubt, contact the council directly on 0300 3030164; option 5, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to keep your personal information safe.
Never reply to an unsolicited text message, or click on a link in a text message unless you are absolutely sure where the link is taking you. Always use a link to a website you know to be correct, or use a search engine to find the correct website.
Carefully read the text message you have been sent. If the spelling or grammar isn’t right, the chances are it is not a genuine text.
Also, check the text message for accuracy. The council tax year runs from 1 April to 31 March, not calendar years as the fraudulent message states.
Never provide your personal details to an unknown third party, or type them into a web page. Legitimate companies will not request this type of information from you.