Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Saturday June 08, 2019 Householders facing ‘barrage’ of council tax scams

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Householders facing ‘barrage’ of council tax scams.

The Local Government Association has warned that householders are facing a “barrage” of council tax scams offering bogus refunds or threatening fines.

It said fraudsters are telling people via text, email and phone that they have either paid too much council tax and are due a refund which they offer to claim on their behalf for a “fee”, or demand payment for arrears.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "Cold-hearted criminals are using more convincing council tax scams which are being sent out barrage-style and reported by local authorities all across the country.

"These council tax scams can damage people’s lives, both financially and emotionally, and anyone can be fooled by them, especially if they appear to look official. Anyone who is contacted about a council tax refund or assessment over their council tax band which includes a request for personal information and bank details should ignore it and report it.

"Councils will never phone, text or email residents to ask for a payment to release a council tax refund or ask for personal bank details.

"Most fraud is preventable if individuals and businesses follow simple advice, but victims shouldn’t suffer in silence or feel embarrassed. By reporting a scam, people can help someone else avoid being a victim.”