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Watch Out, There’s Another Scam About
Thursday 26th November, 2009

People are being alerted to a new telephone scam which has been uncovered by council trading standards officers.

Fraudsters are contacting people, posing as staff from the Valuation Office and asking for bank account details. Officials say this would never happen from the genuine organisation.

The Valuation Office is a part of the Inland Revenue carrying out property valuations on behalf of various bodies, including council tax and rating for local councils.

If people provide their details to the scammers they run the risk of having money removed from their account.

The scam, known as ‘phishing’, has been tried out locally before, when people posed as council officers, and also when a local primary school alerted trading standards to an email offering a tax refund from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

That message asked for bank details and customers who provide their details to the fraudsters run a real risk of their accounts being emptied or their credit cards being used to their limit.

Cllr Paul Prescott, lead member for trading standards, said: “This is a particularly nasty type of scam. We want to alert people now before someone gets stung.

“Officials would not make a phone call of this nature, so please take care and report any suspicious calls.

“Our advice is clear. Never give out your bank or card details to someone unless you know for certain who they are.”

Anyone who is contacted in this way should inform Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

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