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Businesses warned to be alert to bogus ‘rates’ emails after charity incident

Business ratepayers have been warned to be on their guard against bogus emails seeking bank account details after one was received by a local charity.

The warning was issued today, Tuesday, by Land & Property Services (LPS), Department of Finance and Personnel, which is responsible for collecting rates.

This follows an incident in recent days where a local charity received an email entitled ‘NDR Bill’, claiming to have attached a non-domestic rate bill and seeking confirmation of bank account details for the organisation.

The email has the appearance of being sent by West Lothian Council from the email address and suggests that the receiving organisation may be due a refund on their non-domestic rates.

Urging business ratepayers to be wary, a spokesperson for LPS said: “LPS never emails ratepayers requesting bank account details. When LPS staff contact you by phone, mail, email or in person, they will always ask you to confirm security information in relation to your rate account.

“LPS issues all Non-domestic rate bills in hardcopy format and all carry the LPS logo and contact details. The bill clearly displays your unique Account and Ratepayer ID numbers.”

The advice to ratepayers if you have already opened the email and/or the attachment is to run anti-virus software (if you are on your personal computer) or notify your IT administrator (if you are within a business).

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