RESIDENTS are being warned to stay vigilant after a spate of bogus calls to vulnerable and elderly people claimed to offer council tax refunds.

Dudley Council's scams unit has received a number of calls from concerned residents who have received dodgy calls from a company claiming they have paid too much council tax and are eligible for a £2,000 refund.

The bogus caller is said to ask for the resident's card details to pay for admin fees. Money has then been taken out of the victim's bank account in a matter of minutes.

The scams unit has also received reports of residents receiving letters about their false refund and bogus phone messages where people receive a recorded message claiming there is an irregular payment on their card and asking them to press option one to verify their card details.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "We’re urging residents to always err on the side of caution. If something sounds suspicious or it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Please don’t give your card details out and please report any calls immediately to our scams unit or the police by calling 101."

Anyone who is concerned they or someone they know may have fallen victim to a scam, should contact Dudley Council on 01384 818871.