Watch out for the Christmas scammers

Published: Thursday, 8th December 2016

It may well be a season of goodwill, but sadly it’s also a season of scams, and Oxford City Council wants to make sure that the city’s residents don’t fall victim.

The Council was recently told of a phone incident where a caller told the resident that they were from Oxford City Council and asked if they had had an accident, before requesting more information. After the recipient became suspicious and asked some difficult questions, the caller hung up

Of course it’s not just phone calls that you may need to be careful of. There have also been recent cases of scam emails surfacing. One that the Council was made aware of claimed to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs offering a refund of Council Tax (HMRC has nothing to do with Council Tax collection).

Cllr Ed Turner, Deputy Leader of the Council, and Board Member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health said: “Oxford City Council operates a highly effective anti-fraud team that works in partnership with the police, the National Anti-Fraud Network and other agencies to combat this kind of fraud. The team investigates all instances of possible scams reported to them. If you are uncertain about a phone call or email you receive that claims to be from Oxford City Council you can report it to the team at [email protected]

You can also get advice from the police’s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre at www.actionfraud.police.uk

These kinds of scams are typical for this time of year, but don’t let your guard down during the rest of the year as fraudsters can strike anytime. Cllr Turner added: “These hoaxes can be convincing and it pays to be careful. A little vigilance can go a long way in keeping you safe from scams.”