Brighton and Hove City Council has issued a warning about a telephone scam targeting council tax payers.
A council spokesman urged the public to be aware of bogus calls from fraudsters claiming to work for the Council Tax Department.
The fraudster threatens court action if payment of outstanding accounts is not made immediately over the telephone.
One resident’s suspicions were rightly aroused after receiving a call demanding payment because he had not received any written notice from the council informing him of the situation.
A council spokesman said: “We advise members of the public to be cautious.
“Any resident who falls into arrears would get fair warning before we consider court action.
“First of all a reminder is sent, and if no payment is received, only then would we have to issue a magistrates’ court summons.
“When we speak to customers on the phone, they would therefore usually be aware that there is a problem with arrears.”
Anyone receiving a suspicious call can contact the Council Tax Department directly on 01273 291291 to check if the caller was genuine.
Anyone who has given bank details to a bogus caller should call their bank immediately and contact Sussex Police.