Essex: Residents urged to be vigilant after cold calling scam

THE public is being reminded never to give out bank details to cold-callers following reports that a company has been phoning residents, telling them it could get them a council tax rebate.

THE public is being reminded never to give out bank details to cold-callers following reports that a company has been phoning residents, telling them it could get them a council tax rebate.

The two residents who received the calls, one from Great Easton and the other from Stansted, were told they were owed rebates and asked to provide banking details to a foreign-sounding caller.

One of the residents had a message left on his answering machine, asking him to call a premium rate number to find out more. Calling the number would have cost him �1.50 per minute from a landline.

The number the man was asked to call would have led to a company called My Claims Help, which purports to help people recover council tax rebates they are owed due to their home being in too high a council tax band.


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The company charges for a service which can be obtained for free directly from the Valuation Office Agency. The council considers it important that residents are aware that they could end up paying for a service they are entitled to at no cost.

The council is therefore warning residents to be wary of any such calls, urging them not to call premium rate phone numbers such as those that begin 090, and reminding them never to give out bank details to cold callers.

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Head of Customer Support and Revenue Services, Simon Martin, said: “The council sent out a similar warning to this last month when we were informed that residents in Basildon were receiving these calls.

“Now it’s clear that this is also happening in Uttlesford, we’re again reminding residents never to give out personal details over the phone. If you have any doubts about any cold calls you receive relating to council tax, you should ring the council on 01799 510510.

“If you wish to challenge your council tax band, you can do so by directly contacting the Valuation Office Agency. There is no charge for this service, but it is important to be aware that a revaluation could lead to your council tax band going up rather than down.”

You can find out more by visiting the Valuation Office Agency’s website at voa.gov.uk or by calling the Chelmsford office on 01245 541200.

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