FRAUDSTERS tried to trick an elderly Shoreham man by claiming to be from Adur District Council.
But the man realised it was a scam in time and did not pay any money.
The case was circulated to Neighbourhood Watch teams last week to highlight the council tax scam, which could happen to people everywhere.
Angus Dunn, cabinet member for resources at Adur District Council, said: “It is distressing to hear that some of our residents have been targeted with this scam.
“When any refunds are due, we always contact the individual concerned in writing, never by telephone in the first instance.
“If anyone receives a call of this nature asking for money, then I urge them to report it to Sussex Police using the 101 hotline number.”
The man was received a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the council and he was told he was entitled to a council tax refund. He was given the number 0844 800 9426 and told it was the contact number for the council, but when it was dialled, it did not appear to be a valid number.
The fraudster then said they would need to take a fee of £55 via debit or credit card to process the refund.
Adur District Council said a friend of the victim subsequently called the council to ask whether this was a legitimate call. The council confirmed it was not and said other people had experienced similar calls.
Residents are advised the council does not telephone regarding tax refunds, it writes to the person and then sends a cheque, or makes a direct payment into the bank once it has confirmed the address. No fee would ever be requested to process a refund.
Horsham Neighbourhood Policing team has passed the message on to Neighbourhood Watch and asked for it to be circulated, especially to vulnerable or older members of the community
Visit http://www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/report-something-online or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to report incidents online.