Council Tax Fraud Scam

Trading Standards have received an increase in the number of complaints from people who have received calls, both in person and on the telephone, from people saying they can get them rebates or reductions in their Council Tax bill.

Some callers pretend an overpayment of Council Tax has been made and the overpaid amount can be refunded if the victim provides their bank details.

Other scammers say they are from the Valuation Office Agency, or council officials, who tell them they are eligible for thousands of pounds in a Council Tax rebate.

In most cases, victims are asked to give their credit card or bank account details so the money can be refunded. There have been cases where the caller has asked for a one-off administration fee so the refund can be processed.

If someone calls you offering you a deal like this, call the police to report them. They aren’t from the council – they are fraudsters who just want your bank details so they can steal money. You should also let your local council know and report it to Action Fraud.

While councils do offer refunds on genuine Council Tax payments under certain circumstances, these refunds are given free of charge. You should never be asked to pay a fee to receive a refund.

If you think you or your clients may be eligible for a refund, contact your local council directly.

If any bank details have been passed over to a caller like this, contact your bank immediately.

In accordance with government advice, 23rd December 2010