CHESHIRE West and Chester Council is urging residents to be alert after it became aware of the circulation of scam council tax reduction emails.

The emails, which claim to be from GOV.UK, try to trick residents by offering them a tax reduction as they are on ‘low income or benefits’.

They then ask for residents to apply for a refund, with the money being transferred directly to their bank account.

Cllr Carol Gahan, cabinet member for legal and finance, said: “There has been an increase in the number of scam emails and calls being made.

“Please be extra careful and check anything that looks suspicious.

“In this instance, council tax correspondence would be from the local authority and not central government.

“Any personal correspondence would be addressed correctly to the council taxpayer and you wouldn’t expect to receive an email unless an application had already been made.”

Northwich Guardian:

The scam emails look like this

To prevent yourself from being scammed, the council has issued the following advice to adhere to:

  • Stop, think, and be sceptical. Did the communication come out of the blue?
  • Never give personal or financial information to someone you do not know.
  • Genuine organisations will never telephone and ask for personal or financial information.
  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.

If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and if you need advice, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit and complete the free online training.