A COUNCIL is warning shop owners not to be duped by scam gangs targeting businesses.

Hambleton District Council has been made aware of bogus callers targeting shops in the area and claiming they can arrange for business rate bills to be reduced.

The calls and email messages to high street businesses say they can arrange lower business rates for a £750 fee.

Louise Branford-White, director of finance and commercial at the council, said: “We want to advise all our business ratepayers to be on the alert for these scam calls and messages.”

“These are not genuine and businesses are advised not to sign up or give out personal details – especially bank details – to unknown sources.”

Anyone receiving scam calls or messages should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.