BUSINESSES are being warned of a potential large-scale fraud in relation to coronavirus business grants.

On Monday, Shropshire Council made the warning to residents and ratepayers after being alerted to a number of potential scams that have been received.

The scams are using the pretext of the coronavirus business support grant scheme and have arrived over email.

A number of residents have been targeted by the emails which appear to have been sent by government officials and are informing people they could be in line for thousands of pounds.

Now Shropshire Council is warning residents and business owners that the authority will not contact them directly and ask for bank details in an unsolicited way.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said: “We have been notified by separate members about potential scams that have been received by residents or ratepayers.

“A number of people have received emails claiming to be from the government telling them that they have been approved for thousands of pounds of support grant funding.

“The emails then urge the victim to click a link to claim the money and ask for bank card and account details.

“These emails are not legitimate and an attempt to defraud the recipient. Please do not click on the links or reply to the emails and never offer your bank account or card details.

“We will only contact you for bank details in respect of an open application and we will always quote your unique application reference in any communication.

“The only way to access the grant schemes is to complete the application form which is on the council’s website.”

The council is currently offering a range of grants for businesses forced to close during this lockdown period.

Business that can apply are those who have had to close during this 28-day lockdown period, including non-essential retail, leisure, personal care (such has hairdressers and nail salons), entertainment, sports facilities and hospitality.

Three levels of grants are available depending on the rateable value of the business. Those with a rateable value under £15,000 can apply for £1,334; those between £15,000 and £51,000 can apply for £2,000; and those with a rateable value over £51,000 can apply for £3,000.

An announcement on additional restrictions grants is expected this week.

Earlier this year, more than 8,700 of the county’s businesses were provided with almost £87 million of grants helping businesses to continue in their premises, reopen to the public and replenish their stocks.

You can apply, or find out more at