A warning has been issued to County Durham residents following a series of scam emails, trying to obtain personal and financial information.
The trading standards team at Durham County Council is urging residents to be on their guard after it has received reports of hoax emails being sent, claiming to be from the council.
Each email uses a made-up name and claims to be from a council officer, with the letters MBL and a number on the bottom of the text.
The emails contain fake Bacs receipts and encourage the recipients to click through to a fraudulent website, which appears to be of a phishing nature and attempts to take personal and financial information.
One way to identify the hoax is that it isn’t sent from a durham.gov.uk email address.
Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of community protection services, said: “We would like to urge the public to take extra care when they are being contacted by email. We would never ask for personal information or financial information and we would ask that people take the time to check who the email is from, and stop to think before they click on an unknown link in order to protect their information.
“I would also encourage anyone who has received one of these emails, or has any other concerns regarding fraud or scams to contact us. We will always take this information seriously and investigate the matter.”
Details on how to report fraud and help from Durham County Council can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/fraud or residents can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Details of how to protect yourself and family from frauds and scams can be found at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/elearning/durham
Meanwhile, local businesses are also encouraged to sign up to Business Against Scams at www.friendsagainstcams.org.uk/BAS