Residents warned about rates scam

Residents are being warned about a new phone scam that involves the caller claiming to be from Cessnock City Council and asking for payment details to pay for overdue rates.

Residents are being warned about a new phone scam that involves the caller claiming to be from Cessnock City Council and asking for payment details to pay for overdue rates.  

Council was alerted to the scam by a concerned Hunter local after they received a phone call, the caller seeking payment details to pay rates for a property in Cessnock. The resident was immediately suspicious as they did not own property in the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA).  

Ratepayers need to be particularly careful as the first rates notices for this financial year are being issued across the Cessnock LGA next week. It should be noted Council will only call residents seeking payment details if the resident has initiated contact with Council regarding a payment.  

Council’s Director of Corporate and Community Services, Robert Maginnity said we need residents to be on high alert and requested that a cautious approach is best.  

“If you receive a call that is unsolicited, seems suspicious and the caller claims to be from Cessnock City Council you should hang up immediately and contact Council.”  

Even if you’re unsure about the call, the advice is to terminate the call and contact Council’s Customer Service team on 4993 4100. Council have notified Telstra and Scamwatch about the incident. If you receive a phone call you can report it at www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam.