How do I know that a request for payment of an application is genuine?
Technology has brought much opportunity and convenience into our everyday lives but predictably there will always be those that exploit technology for their own gains.
Email fraud is often seen on a large scale, such as attacks on PayPal, HMRC or Banking services, where ‘scammers’ use various tactics to gather account or bank details and get people to pay for products or services they haven’t agreed to.
Due to this risk with any online transaction, please ensure you are vigilant and question any requests for payment or information from a source that you think is suspicious.
If you are in any doubt about a communication you have received from us, or which appears to be from us, please contact our Support Team on firstname.lastname@example.org. The Support Team will need to see the email you are querying in order to verify whether or not it is genuine.
For your peace of mind, you can be sure that the Planning Portal will:
- Only ever send you emails from an email address ending with @planningportal.co.uk or @terraquest.co.uk*
- Only email a PDF with our bank account information, not provide account information in emails we send to you.
- Only send emails concerning an application to the applicant and/or assigned planning agent and the planning team at your local council, also known as the Local Planning Authority.
- Include the reference number of the planning application in email correspondence.
The Planning Portal will not:
- Send you emails from any address that doesn’t end with @planningportal.co.uk or @terraquest.co.uk*
- For example, emails from us will never end in @gmail.com or @hotmail.co.uk.
- Include links in transactional emails that are not from our address ending in planningportal.co.uk.
- Contact you by text message.
- Include our bank account information in emails, we will instead provide a PDF for you to access our account details.
Be sure to report misleading websites, emails, phone numbers, phone calls or text messages you think are dubious. Do not reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you're not sure they're genuine. You can report a misleading website, email or phone number to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)2.
You can also find out more from Which, a not-for-profit consumer advice organisation.
Which: How to spot an email scam3.
*The Planning Portal is an online application service provided by PortalPlanQuest and supports the submission of planning application information to Local Planning Authorities in accordance with statutory regulations. PortalPlanQuest Limited (reg. no 09400439) is a joint venture between the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and TerraQuest Solutions Limited.