Laura Sharman 07 January 2016

Councils warn residents about council tax scam

Tax payers have been warned not to be fall for a scam sweeping the country, which sees bogus companies saying they can help reduce people’s council tax bills for an upfront fee.

As part of the scam, bogus agents will tell people they can get their council tax band lowered in exchange for an upfront payment and a share of the reduction. Fraudsters also pretend to be from the local council and will use bank details to steal money from the victim.

The Valuation Office Agency (VAO) confirmed it would never charge a resident for challenging their council tax band and people do not need an agent to query their council tax bill.

Liverpool City Council said a local resident had received a text message claiming he was entitled to a council tax refund and was directed to a fake website requesting his bank details.

A council spokesman said “The city council never asks for taxpayers’ bank or card details by text or email. If you receive a message of this type you should ignore it and, above all, never forward on your details.

Council tax managers at Barnsley Council also had to warn residents against fraudulent text messages following a similar incident.

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