Scam warning to council tenants

PUBLISHED: 10:52 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:32 16 June 2010

EAST Devon residents are being urged to beware of bogus telephone callers, posing as council officers.

EAST Devon residents are being urged to beware of bogus telephone callers, posing as council officers.

EDDC has discovered that residents here are being targeted, after news of a similar scam in North Devon and Torridge. In each case, the caller claimed to be from the council, saying that the individual may be eligible for a reimbursement of council tax.

Two cases have so far been reported by council customers in East Devon - at Exmouth and Sidmouth. Already knowing the name and address of the victim's bank, the caller asked for the three-digit credit card security code number before explaining they would be sent a form to complete, to process the claim. Both residents became suspicious and ended the call without divulging the security number.

Councillor Andrew Moulding says: "If you are contacted by someone that you are unsure about, please don't be tricked under any circumstances. Officers at EDDC do telephone customers, but would never ask them for a credit card security number over the telephone. If you are in any doubt, finish the call straight away".

Nick Farrell, East and Mid Devon Crime prevention officer, says: "I am aware of a couple of isolated incidents where attempts to obtain personal information have been made via the telephone. Thankfully, nobody so far has been duped. It is reassuring to see that a vast majority of the public are now much more vigilant when it comes to cold callers and do not divulge private information. I also urge people to consider shredding items such as bank statements or other documents that contain private information prior to disposal, as these are often used by fraudsters to obtain credit or clone your identity.

"So far as the majority of phone and email scams are concerned, the best rule of thumb is: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!"

Residents are urged to report any suspect calls to the EDDC's Customer Services and Revenues Manager, Libby Jarrett, on 01395 517 446 or email revenues@eastdevon.gov.uk

You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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