Public alerted to Council imposter calls

Invercargill City Council is warning residents to be aware of callers impersonating Council staff, after a scam call was reported by an Invercargill ratepayer this week.

Council Group Manager Community Engagement and Corporate Services Trudie Hurst said a resident received a call from a blocked number on Monday afternoon, claiming the person owed money to Council.

“The caller did not give a name and only referenced the residential address when threatening that if the money was not paid, the resident’s house would be sold,” Hurst said.

“The Council does occasionally call for information regarding a ratepayer’s account, however, in the case of overdue rates there would have been a letter sent advising the ratepayer that they had arrears.

“Staff will always clearly identify themselves and their specific team and there is no instance where a ratepayer would be told that we would sell your house.

“We commend this person for identifying this as a scam, contacting the Council immediately, and giving us the opportunity to warn the community. We don’t want anyone to fall into this trap.”

If anyone receives a suspicious call from a person impersonating a Council employee, they should not provide any personal details and immediately report it to Council and Police, Hurst said.

Questions regarding any suspicious calls can be directed to the Invercargill City Council Customer Services on 03 211 1777.