Watford Borough Council is warning residents to be aware of fraudsters who pretend to be working for, or on behalf of the council...
These fraudsters may make contact by phone, email, or by visiting resident’s homes.
The council are aware of residents being approached by fraudsters claiming to be employees of the council. These fraudsters are known to have contacted residents who own property; asking for personal information relating to property ownerships, the purchase of properties, lease details, and pension scheme membership.
The fraudsters may appear to be genuine as they already seem to know some information regarding their potential victims. The email address being used by the fraudsters could also fool people into thinking it is a genuine Watford Borough Council email address.
If you are contacted by phone or email by someone claiming to work for the council you can confirm if the person is genuine by contacting the council direct to confirm the person’s identity. Please beware of using a telephone number provided by a caller, or provided on an email, to contact the council as the number could be bogus. Always verify telephone numbers are genuine by doing your own research; the council’s main contact number is 01923 226400.
If someone visits your property and they say they are working for or on behalf of the council, they should be able to show you their council ID card. If you are unsure who the person is working for, don’t let them enter your property. The council advises that you always follow Herts Police advice regarding bogus callers, which can be found here www.herts.police.uk/A-Z/Bogus-callers
If you have been contacted or visited by someone claiming to work for, or on behalf of Watford Borough Council and you think they are actually a fraudster, please report this to the council's fraud team on 0800 458 9200.
To protect yourself from fraud, follow this crime prevention advice:
- Check emails and documents for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
- Carry out thorough research to confirm that the organisation contacting you actually exists. If it does exist, contact the organisation directly using contact details obtained through your own research or their website.
- Never click links in emails unless you are sure it is from a trusted source.
- If you think your bank details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
If you have been a victim of a scam or to report a scam, contact Action Fraud (UK’s National Fraud Office) on 0300 123 2040. Herts Police and Herts County Council are able to offer more information about scams.