Scam emails warning

Published: Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Developers being warned about fraudulent emails providing ‘new bank account details’ which should be used for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments.

A scam alert has been reported by Cornwall Council, on Friday 24 January, where a developer, who was liable for a CIL payment, received a scam email which seemed to be from their architect forwarding information from a Senior Planning Officer with new bank account details into which the CIL payment should be made.  

Fortunately, the payment had already been made by the company which alerted the council about this issue.

Through investigations, it was identified that offenders used real names, close to reality email addresses and email signatures for both the architect and the council, so it could look authentic to members of the public.

Councillor Brandon Eldred, Cabinet member for finance said: “Northampton Borough Council will never ask customers to disclose personal or payment information by email, text or telephone and we will never disclose our payment information via these channels.

“We are committed to your online security, but the methods fraudsters use to obtain information are constantly changing, so individuals and businesses need to be alert.”

“Victims shouldn’t suffer in silence or feel embarrassed. By reporting a scam, people can help someone else avoid being tricked.”

Members of the public are reminded that all our emails have the following domain: @northampton.gov.uk (it is important to spot the dots in .gov.uk, our emails do not end in .com or co.uk etc)

If someone believes that they have been the victim of an email scam, they should:

  • report the matter to their bank or credit card issuer immediately
  • forward suspicious emails to HMRC at [email protected] and then delete them, if relating to HMRC/Tax issues
  • avoid clicking on websites or links in suspicious emails or opening attachments.

Anyone wanting to report a scam in relation to Northampton Borough Council should phone 0300 330 7000.