Bogus business rates and support grant scams targeting small businesses

Published on 14 April 2020

Act with caution if you receive a suspicious telephone call or email.

Bedford Borough Council is urging small businesses to act with caution if they receive a suspicious telephone call or email regarding business rates or support grants.

There have been reports of Bedfordshire businesses receiving a telephone call, whereby the caller has claimed to be from the Council and requested a payment for a 2020/21 business rates bill or asking for the business full bank account details. We will never ask for bank account details for a business support grant over the telephone.

In some cases the caller has provided their bank account details for the payment and claimed the "council is currently closed" during the Coronavirus outbreak. Bedford Borough Council is not closed.

This telephone call is a SCAM.

In addition, there have also been reports of businesses who have received a bogus email regarding an application to register for a COVID-19 small business support grant.

The emails appear genuine and may look as if they were sent by GOV.UK or another official body. The email claims there has been a problem with the business application to register for a support grant and instructs them to click on a link to update their details.

This email is a phishing SCAM.

If you receive an email like this, please do not respond to it or click on any links. Instead, just click delete.

For more information on COVID-19 small business support grants, please visit our website at: or email

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