We would like to warn council tax payers about dishonest individuals and companies that may be operating in your area. They may telephone you or appear personally at your door.
Here are some examples of the tactics used to try and get you to part with your money:
- Charging an up-front fee in order to challenge your council tax banding and insisting you are definitely in the wrong band, when in fact your band is correct.
- Saying they are from the local council or valuation office and asking for your bank details so they can provide a refund. You may then find that money is taken from your account.
- Claiming that the valuation office charges you to challenge your band when you can do this for free.
- Claiming that you must, by law, be represented by an agent to challenge your band when in fact anyone can do this.
Things you can do to avoid falling victim to scammers
- Remember that you can have your band checked free of charge by contacting your local valuation office.
- Inform the police if you believe that anyone is impersonating staff from your local council or valuation office.
- Dial 999 if a cold caller refuses to leave your home.
- Contact your local Trading Standards Service if you feel you have been the victim of a council tax scam.
Things you should not do
- Don’t give your bank details to anyone that contacts you by phone or who calls in person.
- Don’t let anyone into your home without seeing appropriate identification.
- Don’t feel under pressure from a cold-caller to pay an immediate up-front fee.
- Don’t accept cold callers claims about your band without seeing evidence or proof of what they are claiming.
- Don’t speak to anyone who is reluctant to give you their company address or contact details.
Contact the valuation office
If you feel that the band on your home is wrong, then all you have to do is contact your valuation office and explain why you think it is incorrect. They can be contacted by phone on 03000 501501 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.