RESIDENTS are being warned to take care after reports of a council tax scam being sent to people in Blackburn with Darwen.

Text messages have been received claiming people are entitled to a tax rebate from Blackburn with Darwen Council and advising them to go to a website to make their claim.

But the website asks for personal details including bank account numbers.

Lynn Howarth, from Darwen, said: "I got a message on Saturday morning saying I'm owed a council tax refund and to go on a secure website with a link.

"I knew it was a scam because I'm not due anything back but other people might not know.

"It's a scam but it is very convincing. It was asking for personal details.

"I'm sure someone could fall for it and end up losing a lot of money, especially elderly and vulnerable people.

"These scammers are just despicable."

Blackburn with Darwen Council offers a secure and safe method of claiming refunds via the council website -

A council spokesman said: "If you do receive a message offering a council tax refund that asks you to provide your bank account details by clicking on a link, telephone the council (01254 585585) to check it is correct or alternatively access the electronic form on the council's website to log your request.

"If you are cold called and asked to provide your bank details to receive a council tax refund hang up and ignore the request.

"To help stay safe all residents can request refunds via this safe and secure website and view their account details using their account reference and on-line key code which is shown on all bills and other notices we send to you."