Council tax scam warning

19 Jun 2013 @ 9.41 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council is warning residents to be on their guard after receiving complaints about traders ‘cold calling’ residents, claiming there are problems with these individuals’ council tax.

Council officers have been made aware of these new cases just as the York-based Yorkshire and the Humber Trading Standards Group Scambuster team have begun proceedings against five individuals in respect of another alleged council tax rebate scam. The first hearing is scheduled for Thursday 27 June 2013 at York Magistrates Court.

This latest scam involves residents being approached and being told that they are entitled to a refund because they are paying too much council tax, while in other cases residents are told that they haven’t paid enough.

Complainants who have received the phone calls say that they were given an appointment and were told that the person who would call at their home would show council identification. Residents in the YO24 postcode appear to be targeted in particular.

Councillor Linsay Cunningham, Cross Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities, said: “This is nothing to do with City of York Council. Council officers always carry identification and if you are approached out of the blue by someone claiming to be from the council, contact us and we will check that the contact is genuine: a real City of York Council officer will not mind you doing this.

“Do not be tempted to call us using a number given to you by the person before you. It’s a well-known trick for scammers to provide a number that goes back to them. Call us on 01904 551550, look in the phone book, or on our website for our contact details. Do not give any personal information to these callers, especially your banking information.

“We will continue to use all powers available to us to catch and prosecute those who are perpetrating these crimes, often against the most vulnerable of our residents.”

Anyone who has been contacted in relation to a problem with their council tax is urged to contact the City of York Council’s Trading Standards team via the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) consumer helpline on 08454 040506.

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