Scammers are calling UK households and asking them to hand over bank details in order to receive the government’s £150 energy rebate.

People are being warned not to gall for the scam, with the Local Government Association warning of a recent spate of cold calls offering energy rebates.

Scammers claim to be associated with the council and explain a refund is due but then ask for your bank details in order to pay out the £150 rebate.

Consumer experts Which? said: “According to those who’ve fallen foul of this scam, handing over these details led to large sums of money being deducted from their bank accounts shortly after the phone call.

The Leader: (PA)(PA)

“While local authorities are administering the council tax rebates, the Local Government Association has said councils don’t ask for bank details over the phone.

“We’ve also seen variations of this scam being sent by email and text message.

“Don’t be tempted to respond to these texts and emails, if you don’t currently pay your council tax by direct debit, you should wait to receive your letter from the council that will explain how to claim the rebate.”

Which? also offered advice on how to spot and report scams here.

They said: “While cold calls appear to be the primary method used for this scam, you should be wary of any requests for your personal and financial details via text message or email too.

“If you’ve received a call, text or email that you think could be genuine, the safest thing to do is to source a contact number for that organisation from its website or a recent letter and contact them yourself to verify its authenticity.

“If you think you’ve already given your details away to a potential scammer you should contact your bank immediately.

“You should also report the scam to Action Fraud, or the police if you live in Scotland.”