Havering Council is urging residents to be cautious when paying their council tax over the phone. Some residents have been receiving calls asking for their bank or credit card details so their Council Tax or Council Tax arrears can be paid.

Any residents, who receive such a call, should check that it is genuine:

• Explain to the caller you wish to check their identity, write down their name and department and hang up your telephone.

• Scammers will keep the telephone line open so when you make a call out straight away you are still talking to the scammer.

• To avoid this, wait at least 15 minutes or use another line to make the call, such as a mobile phone, call Havering Council on 01708 434343 and ask for the person and department.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Ramsey, said:

“Scammers are using a number of methods to get account details from people. Anyone who receives a call asking for their bank details should check its authenticity, whether it is from the Council or not.

“Staff at the council are aware of this scam and will be happy to assist anyone who wants to check that the call is genuine. Anyone who receives a call that turns out to be fraudulent should report it to Action Fraud.”

Scam telephone calls should be reported to Action Fraud with as much detail as possible, on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

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