Uttlesford District Council warns residents of council tax scam

RESIDENTS are being warned about a scam involving companies cold-calling residents and claiming to be able to arrange council tax refunds through council tax band revaluations.

A resident of Basildon district contacted his local council after receiving a call from a company requesting his bank details to arrange a council tax refund.

The company behind the call advised the resident that he may be entitled to a rebate on the basis that his home may be in the wrong council tax band.

He was told that the company would arrange for his property’s council tax band to be revaluated and that he would receive a rebate if the bracket it was in was found to be too high.

He was also provided with a premium-rate phone number to call in order to request an information pack.

Uttlesford District Council is asking residents to be wary of such calls.

Head of customer support and revenue services Simon Martin said: “The council has been made aware that companies such as these are cold-calling residents to charge them for a service which is actually available for free.

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“We’re 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.

The company behind the call in Basildon district was called My Claims Help, although there may be other companies operating similar schemes.

HAVE you been scammed? Call us on 01799 512882.