Published on 18 November 2020
Officials from Stratford-on-Avon District are warning residents to be on their guard, following reports of an email scam offering a council tax refund.
The emails appear to have been sent from Stratford-on-Avon District Council, but in fact are a scam, designed to obtain people's personal data and bank details.
Cllr Jo Barker, People Portfolio at Stratford-on-Avon District Council said: "We have been made aware that there is a council tax refund scam happening locally. If you have received any correspondence about a council tax refund that asks you to click a link, then input personal details please delete it.
"It's appalling that fraudsters are taking advantage of the fact that many residents are suffering financially as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
"If you have any doubts whether correspondence sent to you is genuine please contact the District Council and officers will be able to help you."
How to avoid scams
Advice on how to protect yourself from fraud can be found at Take Five - a national campaign offering advice that helps prevent fraud: https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
The District Council has no legal power to suspend the collection of council tax and must collect council tax, unless or until Central Government change this. We do completely understand the pressure many households may find themselves under but there are options available to help individual households.
Additional support may be available for families, already in receipt of council tax support and experiencing financial difficulties, depending on their individual circumstances.
Also most residents pay their council tax over 10 months but they are entitled to extend their council tax instalments from 10 to 12 months, reducing the monthly payments by paying over a longer period for no extra charge or by taking their two-month council tax 'holiday' now instead of in February and March next year.
If you do need assistance with your council tax payments please call the District Council on 01789 267575.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has received funding of £660,000 from the Government, as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, to help those residents who receive Local Council Tax Support. This funding is targeted at benefit recipients classed as 'working-age' who qualify for Local Council Tax Support.
Those residents who are in receipt of Local Council Tax Support, this year, have received a one-off discount of up to £150, which the District Council has apply directly onto their council tax account, meaning the total amount of council tax they need to pay will automatically be reduced by up to £150 and adjustments have been made automatically to those accounts that qualify.
If you have any queries regarding this please contact the Benefit Team by email: email@example.com
To date: The District Council has paid a total of £651,415 to 4,342 cases.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575