Exmouth residents warned about bogus council callers

PUBLISHED: 16:40 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:18 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH and East Devon residents are being warned bogus telephone callers posing as council officers are operating in the area.

EXMOUTH and East Devon residents are being warned bogus telephone callers posing as council officers are operating in the area.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has discovered residents are being targeted by a caller claiming to be from the council, saying the resident could be in line for a council tax rebate.

Each time the bogus official has asked for the three-figure security number found on the on the back of bank cards.

Anyone who receives such a call is asked to contact the district council.

Nick Farrell, East and Mid Devon crime prevention officer, said: "I am aware of a couple of isolated incidents where attempts to obtain personal information have been made via the telephone. "Thankfully, nobody so far has been duped.

"It is reassuring to see that a vast majority of the public are now much more vigilant when it comes to cold callers and do not divulge private information.

"I also urge people to consider shredding items such as bank statements or other documents that contain private information prior to disposal, as these are often used by fraudsters to obtain credit or clone your identity.

"So far as the majority of phone and email scams are concerned, the best rule of thumb is: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is."

Two cases, in Exmouth and Sidmouth, have so far been reported by council customers in East Devon.

Already knowing the name and address of the victim's bank, the caller asked for the three-digit credit card security code number before explaining they would send out a form to complete, to process the claim.

Both residents became suspicious and ended the call without divulging the security number.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, EDDC portfolio holder resources, said: "If you are contacted by someone that you are unsure about, please don't be tricked under any circumstances.

"Officers at EDDC do telephone customers, but would never ask them for a credit card security number over the telephone.

"If you are in any doubt, finish the call straight away."

Residents are urged to report any suspect calls to EDDC's customer services and revenues manager, Libby Jarrett, on (01395) 517 446 or email revenues@eastdevon.gov.uk

You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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