Hounslow Council Issues Warning Over Fraudulent Phone Calls

Criminals claiming to be processing council tax rebate

Council never asks for bank details over the phone. Picture: Action Fraud

Residents of Hounslow Borough have been warned not to answer bogus phone calls about the Government’s council tax rebate. Hounslow Council has told people to be wary of phone calls from fraudsters pretending to be from the local council calling about the council tax rebate and asking for bank details.

In a statement on its website, the council said, “Please be aware that we have had reports that fraudsters are making phone calls claiming to be from Hounslow Council, regarding the Government’s £150 council tax rebate and asking for bank details.”

The council said that they would never ask for bank details over the phone and reassured residents seeking a rebate that they did not have to do anything yet. According to the council, more details on the rebate would be provided at a later date.

Hounslow advised anyone suspicious of a phone call claiming to be from the council to take the caller’s details and call the council back to check if their details are genuine. Residents are urged to report any potential crimes to the police on 101.

The Government introduced a £150 council tax rebate at the start of the month to relieve some of the pressure felt by households due to a huge increase in the cost of living. Alongside hikes in national insurance and council tax, the price of food, petrol, gas and electricity has also soared in recent months.

Under the Government’s scheme, households in council tax bands A to D will be able to claim the rebate from their local council. The money will be paid out across the country from later this month and councils will be in touch with residents to arrange payment. Residents who receive the rebate will not have to pay the money back.

A spokesperson for Hounslow Council said, “We were alerted to this issue from our London-wide council networks and we immediately issued communications to alert residents, and will issue reminders. We have had no direct reports from residents of fraudulent calls so far, and hope that raising awareness early will mean that incidents are prevented.”

Lisa Haseldine - Local Democracy Reporter

April 5, 2022