South Tyneside Council has received reports of fraudulent text messages, purporting to be from GOV.UK, indicating that residents are due a Council Tax refund.
In order to process the refund, the message recipients are asked to follow a link contained in the message which, when opened, takes the resident to a website which has the same look and feel as the GOV.UK website, and asks for bank details.
Both the text messages and website are fraudulent, and users who enter their details are at great risk of losing money through providing this information.
Northumbria Police’s Fraud and Scam Awareness pages are educating the public on these kinds of scams, which are known as “phishing”.
The local authority in South Tyneside is also warning residents of the scam on its website and social media pages.
Advice has also been taken from the police, who have said that any individual residents who receive this text should report this directly to their local police.