Beware! Is it a scam?
How to identify Council Tax and Business Rates scams and what to do to avoid them.
Please be aware of an emailed Council Tax scam that has been circulating recently. The email claims to be from the 'Government Digital Service Team' and alerts the recipient to a Council Tax reduction, before directing them to a malicious site set up to harvest personal information.
There are a number of ways that fraudsters may try to get you to part with your money. Some types of scams used:
- They insist your band or rateable value is wrong and you are owed money, requesting your bank details for a refund
- Claim that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) charges you to challenge your band or rateable value
- Claim that you must be represented by their agents to challenge your band or rateable value
- State they are on a list of approved agents recognised by the VOA - there is no such list
- Tell you they have entered an appeal to the VOA on your behalf, when they have not.
To avoid falling victim to these types of scams you should:
- Check your Council Tax band
- Check your Business Rates rateable value
- Check the caller is genuine by calling their head office - make sure your last call has ended and you have a dial tone before dialling
- Contact the VOA directly on 03000 501501 to check their story
- Inform the police if you believe they are impersonating a council or VOA officer
- Dial 999 if a doorstep caller refuses to leave your home
- Report any suspected scam to ActionFraud.
If you are due a refund, we will usually send this back to your bank account automatically, free of charge. If we do not hold your bank details, we will write to you. We will never ask you for money to process a refund. If in doubt, call us on 01775 761161.