Thursday 2 March 2017

Tax Payers Beware: Council Tax Fraudsters Are Hunting For You

Council Tax

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) intelligence officers have released information over the phishing scam which is currently circulating.

People are being told to remain vigilant after it emerged fraudsters were using a council tax rebate as a new way to con homeowners out of money.

Victims of the scam are phoned and told they have been placed in the wrong tax bracket for a number of years.

They trick the unsuspecting person into thinking they are due a rebate, which they usually claim is worth £7,000.

Once the con artists have duped the target, they state that in order to get their hands on the cash they need a pay an “administration fee”.

This varies between £60 - £350, but once the victim makes the payment all contact ceases.

They then find they can no longer get in contact with the person who phoned them, and when they take up the inquiry with their local council they are informed they have been scammed.

Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith said: “Fraudsters are relentless and will work tirelessly to find new ways to convince people to part with their money.

“These criminals make several calls and will be particularly convincing and provide good reason for why the person should make an immediate payment.

“We urge people to be vigilant and never respond to these callers who are simply trying to scam you”.

Council Tax

Over the last few months at least 16 people have come forward to say they have been the victim of this scam.

The majority of victims have concentrated in the Sussex area and are 60 and over, but the NFIB fears the fraudsters will turn their sights to other areas and ages.

They issued safety advice to any worried residents, warning them not to respond to random phone calls.

No council will phone out of the blue to discuss a council tax rate and no legitimate organisation will require you to pay a fee in advance, experts say.

And they warned to never give out card or bank details.

*** Do You Really Need To Pay Your Council Tax?

Suspected victims are instructed to hang up - wait five minutes to clear the line as sometimes conmen keep the line open to further dupe their victims - and to report the attempted fraud, ideally using a different phone.

Earlier this week a major new phone scam was revealed, whereby fraudsters ask ‘can you hear me’ and use the recording to fake major purchases.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.