Residents are being warned about fraudsters who are pretending to be from local councils or the HMRC.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber reporting centre has issued a national warning.

People are reportedly receiving cold calls and emails about a council tax overpayment from individuals who appear to work for a local council.

The emails often contain phishing links, which directs people to a website where they will be asked to provide personal data.

The fraudsters say that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings.

They say that you can avoid this by arranging for a payment immediately by bank transfers or iTunes gift cards.

If the victim is hesitant or refuses to agree, the suspect makes a threat such as an immediate arrest.

Once the money is paid, the suspects sever all contact with the victim.

What do residents need to do?

  • Always question requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details, doesn't mean they are genuine.
  • Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it.
  • No genuine organisation will ask you to pay money or taxes using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.
  • Do no be rushed or pressured into making a decision. A genuine bank or trusted organisation would never force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud at