RESIDENTS of a borough have been warned to beware of ‘scam’ messages claiming to offer them a council tax refund.

Several householders in the Ribble Valley have received e mails and texts purporting to come from the government.

Several residents have contacted Ribble Valley Council expressing concern.

The scam messages claim households had been placed in the wrong band at a previous address and promise refunds of hundreds of pounds in exchange for personal details.

Mark Edmondson, Ribble Valley Council’s head of revenues, said: “At first glance the e mails or texts appear genuine, but they are far from it and by clicking on the words,’ Refund Form’ at the bottom residents will be forwarded to a bogus web page requesting personal details.

“Residents should never give their personal details to anyone they are not sure of and if they receive the scam are advised to delete it immediately.”

Residents are warned not to give bank details to anyone contacting them by e mail or text; and not to let anyone into their home without checking their identification. They are urged to verify the identity of anyone claiming to be from Ribble Valley Council by phoning 01200 425111."

Mr Edmondson added that residents should inform the police immediately if they believes anyone was impersonating council staff.