Fraudsters cold call people pretending to be at Fareham Borough Council

Fraudsters are targeting homes in the area
Fraudsters are targeting homes in the area
Daniel Bates, 45, of Beach Gardens, Selsey

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SCAMMERS trying to harvest householders’ bank details are calling people up and pretending to be council workers.

Con artists claiming to be from Hampshire County Council have been ringing people on their home phones and telling them they may be entitled to a refund on their council tax as their property was wrongly banded.

The fraudsters, who also pretend to be from Fareham Borough Council, then ask for the target’s bank details.

One Portchester pensioner, who wished to remain anonymous, said she received a call last Friday and when she challenged the person, he hung up.

She said: ‘He knew my name and address and was very plausible.

‘He did not speak with a foreign accent, he sounded like a young man and gave his name as Will from Fareham Borough Council.

‘He said I may have been banded wrong and possibly due a refund.

‘I felt there was something wrong as a few years ago I had already applied for a refund from the council and received a letter saying “do not try again”.

Cllr Roger Price, who represents Portchester East on Fareham Borough Council and Portchester on Hampshire County Council, said this was not the only incident that had been reported to him.

He said: ‘It’s just an utter scam. What they are eventually trying to get is people’s bank account details from them.’

Hampshire economy boss Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘We never cold call, text or email residents requesting bank details.

‘If you receive one of these cold calls please do not give out any personal information and end the call as quickly as you can.’

Report any similar calls to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.