Con-artists are using a sophisticated council tax scam to steal from residents, council finance chiefs have warned.

Fraudsters are using a promise of council tax rebates to gain people’s bank details and other personal information before emptying victims’ bank accounts.

The scammers are said to target residents over the phone by posing as council tax officials who say they have paid too much council tax or they have not paid enough and need to top up their payment.

Wandsworth Council said it had also received reporters the same gang of criminals may be using fake email addresses.

Chris Buss, director of finance at Wandsworth Council, said the tactics were a "complete and utter con" and people should not be taken in by them.

Mr Buss said: "No genuine town hall employee would ever make such a call and it would simply not be necessary for us to have your bank account details for this purpose.

"My advice to anyone who gets these calls is to simply hang up straight away - and if they get an email asking for this information they should ignore it."

To report fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or visit