Residents are being urged to be careful after a number of scam emails and phone texts about council tax refunds were discovered.

A number of emails and texts have been sent telling people they are entitled to a council tax refund and to click on a link to be reimbursed.

They claim to have been sent by or HMRC.

The number of communications sent has increased as this year's council tax bills are sent out to households.

These messages are not genuine and people should not click on the link or provide any personal details.

Recipients should look out for any strange email addresses the note is sent from, fake logos or spelling mistakes, which indicate the email or text is bogus.

David King, Colchester Council’s resources boss, said: “The internet has become one of the most popular tools used to commit fraud, and criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated with their hacking techniques.

"As a result, we want to help our residents stay safe from fraudsters who are potentially trying to take financial information or hack into devices.

“Be very careful responding to unsolicited messages from an unfamiliar source about your council tax and, above all, if you have any doubts about who sent it, please contact our council tax team.

"For general advice on staying safe online, residents can also check out the Get Safe Online website.”

If you have been a victim of a scam, please contact the police on 101 immediately or report it to Action Fraud at