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Alert: Fake debt collection and council tax emails

6th April 2016

Action Fraud has received a surge in calls and reports from concerned members of the public who have received debt collection and council tax scam emails. 

Outstanding debt

In the past couple of days the Action Fraud contact centre has received thousands of calls and reports from the public who have received this clever spear phishing email below. These have worried recipients because they use detailed personal information such as full name, address and postcode.

The emails claim to act on behalf of a legitimate company called Optex (Europe) Ltd and contain a link which could infect your computer with Cryptolocker or Maktub ransomware.  

This spear phishing campaign could constantly evolve, so look out for company variations and remember that is easy for fraudsters to adapt information. To prevent your personal information ending up in the hands of fraudsters; follow our advice on how to protect it

Your council tax bill

This email has been spammed out over the past couple of weeks and could catch residents off guard. It uses a realistic domain name and claims there is a new service up and running to make it easier for you to pay your council tax bill online. If you are in doubt about any service your council provides, contact them directly.

Last year Action Fraud warned people of a new council tax scam where fraudsters phoned victims and told them they were placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and where entitled to a rebate.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

You can now also sign up for free to Action Fraud Alert to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message.