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Redditch Borough Council are encouraging residents to stay aware after a spate of recent scams and attempted deception in the area.

A number of unsolicited emails, telephone calls and door-to-door fraudsters falsely claiming to be bank officials, council officials or government-backed debt advice services, have been reported to the councils Community Safety Team in the past few weeks.

Any calls or emails claiming to be from the local council and offering a tax rebate, in which they ask for personal banking details, will be fraudulent. Many of these frauds are run by organised criminals working overseas who want to steal from bank accounts.

Often these criminals do not know if the email addresses being used are real or relevant to the area so by not responding and deleting it straight away you reduce your risk of being targeted in the future.

Door-to-door callers offering driveway improvements or tree cutting services that claim they are ‘council approved’ contractors are also misleading customers. Councils do not endorse contractors.

There have also been reports of cold callers claiming to be from the council offering council tax rebates in order to gain access to properties and gather banking information.

The council will NEVER cold call at properties. Any visits by any of our departments will be pre-booked with residents, the officer will have proof of ID and will be happy for you to double check they are who they say by calling us on 01527 64252.

If residents are worried about cold callers, they are encouraged to sign up to the Nominated Neighbours scheme which has been proven to deter cold callers before they knock on the door because they do not want their details checked and confirmed.

The Nominated Neighbour scheme involves any cold callers being directed to a nominated, trusted neighbour who will check the identity of the caller and return to the neighbours address with them if they are a genuine caller. Posters are available to put up in residents’ windows to warn cold callers that the house operates the nominated neighbour scheme.

Cllr Gareth Prosser, whose portfolio covers Community Safety, said: “Please be vigilant when it comes to unknown callers or any unsolicited telephone calls and emails. The council will never contact you in this way and if you’re unsure our officers will always be happy for you to verify their ID.

“These criminals are the lowest of the low for targeting the most vulnerable and trusting members of our society. If you’re worried about a neighbour, friend or family member, I would encourage you to sign them up to the Nominated Neighbour scheme and make them wary of any suspicious or unexpected emails, phone calls or visitors.”

If you think you have been scammed or want to report potential scammers, please contact Action Fraud:
For more information or help, contact the council’s Community Safety Team.