Council tax scammers target Yeovil home owners
By abbie_yeovil | Tuesday, March 05, 2013, 10:23
Fraudsters have been targeting Yeovil home owners in the run up to the due date for council tax payments.
Fraudsters have been phoning up South Somerset residents claiming that for a fee they can reduce the home owner's council taxes
People from Yeovil and across South Somerset have been receiving false calls and visits from people claiming that home owners could be entitled to council tax reductions.
The fraudsters claim they can offer these reductions as part of a scheme operated on behalf of the government and South Somerset District Council and for a one-off fee they can reassess housing bands.
South Somerset District Council and the local police are urging people to check the validity of the call before giving away any bank details.
A Sedgemoor District Council spokesman said: "Other councils have reported someone phoning claiming to be from a government department and was offering a years' council tax refund as a reward for prompt payment over the past number of years.
"A resident was suspicious, and when the caller was asked to identify themselves and the department they represented the caller hung up.
"This type of scam is similar to a number of bogus telephone calls occurring in growing numbers across the country, the nature of which is to deceive the recipient into revealing personal bank details by promising a refund of council tax to be paid into their account.
"If you get a call from someone saying they are working on behalf of South Somerset District Council to reduce Council Tax charges and asking for a fee, we advise you to end the call straight away."
Councillor Tim Carroll, Deputy Leader and Vice-Chairman of the Executive said: "Telephone scams are prevalent at the moment, and in this case they are charging a fee and saying they can get Council Tax reduced.
"It is important that you do not make any payments or give them any personal details.
He added: "You can get free advice about your Council Tax from South Somerset District Council."
For advice about Council Tax Band reductions, discounts, exemptions or Council Tax Benefit visit the Council's website www.southsomerset.gov.uk or call 01935 462462.