A small number of Auckland ratepayers have received a phone call from a man claiming to be from Auckland Council's "tax department".
The man states that the resident has overpaid their rates and that, in return for a payment, they will receive a rates refund. He then asks for a cheque or bank account details.
In one case, the man offered to visit a ratepayer's home to pick up a cheque.
The ratepayers realised that these calls were not from Auckland Council and suffered no financial loss. However, the council is concerned there may be victims of this fraudulent activity in the future.
Currently, representatives of Auckland Council are calling ratepayers who have applied for the rates rebate scheme for validation of their financial information. However to be eligible for a rates refund the council must receive written confirmation of bank account details.
There is no charge by Auckland Council for processing a refund and all rates refunds are made by direct credit.
Auckland Council encourages anyone who has received a call of this kind to inform its call centre by calling 09 301 0101. The council has contacted the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and has also briefed its customer services staff on the subject.