Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Council Tax Bands: New Scam Tries to get Your Bank Details

Central Bedfordshire Trading Standards are warning residents about a council tax scam, following a number of reports of telephone and doorstep callers operating in the area.

Callers claim a property is in the wrong council tax band, that you are paying too much, and may be entitled to a refund. But then go on to try to charge an advance fee for challenging your Council Tax band on your behalf, but not actually doing any work for you. They may even say they are from the local Council Valuation Service and insist on asking for your bank details.

Town councillor, Alan Winter, Parkside Ward, Houghton Regis said, "The valuation service do not charge you to challenge your council tax band, it is a free service. No one should ever give out their bank details or passwords unless they are absolutely sure that they know what the information is to be used for, and never pay advance fees to strangers. "

Trading Standards advice is to end the telephone call or ask the person to leave. You can report any suspicious callers to their hotline on 03454 040506.

Council tax bands can be checked free of charge by contacting a local valuation office (http://www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/contact/index.html) or by carrying out a simple check on the VOA website http://www.voa.gov.uk/cti/InitS.asp?lcn=0

For Central Bedfordshire, email or write to:
ratingcentral@voa.gsi.gov.uk
Non-domestic Rates Central
Valuation Office Agency
2 Broadway
Broad Street
Birmingham
B15 1BG