According to MSN Money, there are reports coming in from around the country about fraudsters posing on the telephone and on the doorstep as council tax officials. They are then fooling people into believing they have either underpaid or are due a refund to get them to part with sensitive personal and banking details. This reprehensible practice is now happening across the nation.

There are many variations but in the end the aim is for the target to part with their details. Some say they will get you a refund or you are due one. Others that you must pay now in order to avoid a fine. Other approaches have been made by E-Mail with the same aims in mind.No council does day to day business like this so any approach of this nature should be refused and reported immediately to either the local council or the police. The faster the report is made the more likely the culprit will be apprehended and stopped from conning other people.

This is one of many scams doing the rounds at the moment. Be very wary of offers from driveway refurbishers to do your drive because they've got some tarmac left over from a job round the road. Or the builder who knocks to helpfully inform you that your chimney or roof may need work.

Other Internet scams promise you large amounts of money once you've put a small amount in to kick-start an offshore account. There are also sites designed to look exactly like a real bank internet site but when you put your details in they quickly go to the real site themselves and empty your accounts. There are also E-Mails sent to you from fake banks just asking you to confirm your bank details and PIN numbers to ensure smooth banking. Do not reply as no bank would ever ask you to do this.

Summary, don't hand over details on the doorstep, or over the phone or over the Internet. And if it sounds too good to be true, then it is too good to be true!

Your local police and Trading Standards can help you with any queries.

Please forward this information on to ensure the fraudsters have a very short career!

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