East Lothian Council

Council Tax refund scam warning

Published Wednesday 5th July 17

Stand Against Scams

local residents contacted by fraud council tax refund claims

East Lothian Council’s Trading Standards team have been informed of a number of Council Tax refund scams that are currently operating.  Some local residents have been phoned by scammers suggesting they may be eligible for a council tax refund and other have received a letter.

Examples of the tactics used by bogus callers include:

  • Charging an up-front fee with an added 20% of the reduction should they successfully reduce your council tax band
  • Insisting you are definitely in the wrong band and are owed back payments on your Council Tax bill, when in fact your band is correct
  • Saying they are from East Lothian Council and asking for your bank details so they can provide a refund. The fraudsters will then steal money from the bank account

  How to avoid falling victim to this scam:

DO

  • If you receive a call offering to reduce your band, make sure you are getting a dial-tone before calling the council to check their story
  • Inform the police if you believe that anyone is impersonating staff from East Lothian Council
  • Dial 999 if a doorstep cold-caller refuses to leave your home

·        Contact the Trading Standards office if you feel you have been the victim of a Council Tax scam. You can contact Trading Standards in confidence on 01620 827365 or email ehts@eastlothian.gov.uk.

 

DON’T

  • Give your bank details to anyone
  • Let anyone into your home without seeing appropriate identification
  • Feel under pressure from a cold-caller to pay an immediate up-front fee. Take the time you need to think about it
  • Accept cold callers’ claims about your Council Tax band without seeing evidence or proof of what they are claiming
  • Deal with anyone that is reluctant to give you their company address or contact details

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