Council Tax Latest News
Council Tax Refunds - Text Scam
We have been warned of a potential text scam in relation to Council Tax refunds.
The text reads as follows:
“Dear customer. Please note that we have to refund you the amount: 422.40GBP council tax fee for the past year. Please visit: http://online-council-tax.co.uk”
This link redirects to a Spanish website 'www.2597368-0.web-hosting.es' where a fairly convincing GOV.UK form comes up asking a worrying amount of very personal information.
Cheshire East Council does not have the facility to contact customers by text regarding their Council Tax, and we advise customers not to complete the form.
Council Tax Refunds - Fraudulent Emails
It has been reported that Cheshire East residents have received emails telling them they are entitled to a Council Tax refund.
The emails quote an amount, make reference to the Local Tax Office, the Local Taxation Officer and even had a Council Tax refund ID number. The email advises customers that to claim the refund all they have to do complete a form providing their card details.
Cheshire East residents should be aware that these are not genuine emails relating to Council Tax or on behalf of Cheshire East and any such emails should be reported to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 404 0506, or via the GOV.UK website https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing
Council Tax Banding Appeals or lowering your Council Tax Band
Cheshire East residents are being contacted by external companies, offering to appeal against the banding of their property, in return for a fee of up to 35% of any refund issued by Cheshire East Council. While there is nothing illegal about companies acting in this way , anyone wishing to appeal against their band can do so for free, by contacting the Valuation Office Agency directly.
Some residents have reported that they have been contacted by someone claiming to be a Cheshire East employee. Please be advised that these people are not employees of Cheshire East Council, and the call should be reported to Cheshire East Trading Standards.
Warning of Council Tax Phone Scams
Consumer Protection and Investigations are warning of phone scams in which people are told they have not paid the correct amount of Council Tax.
A number of Cheshire East Council residents have been called by someone impersonating a Cheshire East Council employee, from the Claims and Benefits Department. Those answering are told they have paid too much Council Tax, and are entitled to a rebate. The caller is then asked for their bank details.
Cheshire East residents should be aware that Cheshire East Council would not contact people in this way and any such calls should be reported to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0845 4040506.
If you feel you are paying too much Council Tax, please contact the Council Tax Team and they will be able to deal with your enquiry.
Bogus / Scam Emails
A possible national fraud email ‘campaign’ has been brought to our attention. Please be aware that Cheshire East Council would never email asking for bank / card details, and would not confuse PAYE and Council Tax.
Advice from the National Fraud Authority on what should you do if you’ve received a scam email is as follows: -
- Do not click on any links in the scam email.
- Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way.
- If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.
- Do not open any attachments that arrive with the email.
- Visit the Action Fraud website where there is information on how to forward on your scam mail. When you send an email you are doing so over the open internet, which we cannot guarantee the security of. Therefore please do not send personal information, such as your address or bank account details, when emailing Action Fraud.
- If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.
To report a fraud or get more advice on staying safe from fraud visit the Action Fraud website or call 0300 123 2040.