Tax Rebates & Refunds

East Riding Council warns of tax rebate scam

January 4, 2013
Posted in Fraud, Tax Rebates — Written by Chris

Local residents in East Yorkshire have been warned of a council tax rebate scam, which could lead to people handing over hundreds of pounds in ‘fees’ to con artists offering fake tax refund services.

According to Trading Standards officials at East Riding Council, there have been dozens of reports of people telephoning residents out of the blue pretending to be from the local authority and offering substantial rebates on overpaid council tax.

The callers are reportedly telling people that their properties are currently in the wrong council tax band, advising that they are paying too much in council tax and could be due a sizeable tax refund.

The dangerous part of the scam is that householders are also being asked for an up-front fee of between £87 and £175, supposedly to cover legal fees’ and solicitors costs, as well as their bank details in order to process the refund.

When people have quite rightly refused to give out any bank details, callers are understood to have offered to visit the house to collect the fee. This alone should sound warning bells for most residents.

Strongly advising residents to ignore and then report such calls, the council’s community partnerships portfolio holder, Councillor Jackie Cracknell, said:

“Property owners who are approached unexpectedly over their council tax valuation must simply say no.

“If a local householder does genuinely believe they are in the wrong band, all they have to do is contact the Valuation Office Agency.”

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