Renfrewshire Council has reminded people to be on their guard against email scams relating to council tax.
Several residents have been in touch with the council to report fraudulent emails claiming that they owe money and asking for their bank account details.
Another resident notified the council of a different scam email, which claimed she was due a refund on her council tax and also tried to get her to send details of their bank account.
Both are examples of ‘phishing’ – a type of scam designed by criminals to capture sensitive financial information from unsuspecting victims.
If people reply with their information the fraudsters can use it to withdraw money from their victims’ bank accounts or to commit other crimes, such as identity theft.
Renfrewshire Council’s convener of housing and community safety, Councillor Tommy Williams, said: “Anyone who receives an email like this should delete it right away.
“We only ever issue reminders of missed council tax payments by letter sent through the post, so any email that claims someone owes on their council tax won’t be genuine.
“Scam emails often include links to other websites or attachments that the fraudsters want you to download.
“We would urge people to always be wary and never download an attachment or open a link if they are not absolutely sure that an email is legitimate.”
Anyone who wants to check their council tax account can do so by logging on to MyAccount at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk, or by calling the council tax team on 0300 300 0300.
The public can also report anything they think is a scam to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.