Warn­ing over coun­cil tax scam­mers in Ar­gyll

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

PEO­PLE across Ar­gyll and Bute are be­ing warned to be aware of scam calls and emails about coun­cil tax. The ad­vice comes from Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s trad­ing stan­dards team af­ter re­ports of at­tempted frauds around the re­gion.

One res­i­dent re­ported a call from what ap­peared to be a Lon­don-based num­ber, in­sist­ing the house­hold was pay­ing the wrong level of coun­cil tax.

There have also been re­ports of callers of­fer­ing re­funds, while oth­ers have been sent emails ask­ing them to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion via an on­line link to claim money back. Peo­ple who get a call are told they will get the re­fund if they pay £74 and are then asked to call a num­ber.

The num­ber is not in the UK and is likely to be very costly for any­one calling it.

Scam­mers are also con­tact­ing peo­ple by email. The mes­sage claims the re­cip­i­ent is due a re­fund and it can be ac­cessed by click­ing on a link and con­firm­ing per­sonal de­tails be­fore cash is trans­ferred.

The coun­cil’s pol­icy lead for plan­ning and reg­u­la­tory ser­vices, Coun­cil­lor David Kinniburgh, said: ‘The coun­cil would never con­tact you to ask for per­sonal in­for­ma­tion or dis­cuss your level of coun­cil tax.

‘Please heed the ad­vice from trad­ing stan­dards – don’t re­ply to these emails as your in­for­ma­tion could be sold to other scam­mers or even used for iden­tity theft, and hang up the phone if you sus­pect a scam.

‘If you re­ceive a call ask­ing you to call back to claim a re­bate, ig­nore it. You can check with us whether the call or mes­sage you’ve re­ceived is le­git­i­mate, but it’s most likely to be fraud­u­lent.

‘Too many peo­ple are be­ing conned out of their hard-earned cash – we’ve all heard the aw­ful sto­ries of peo­ple think­ing calls and emails are le­git­i­mate and pay­ing the price. The el­derly and vul­ner­a­ble are a par­tic­u­lar tar­get of these scam­mers but they are so plau­si­ble, any­one could be taken in.

Don’t let your­self be one of them.’

If you re­ceive any sus­pi­cious cor­re­spon­dence about coun­cil tax re­funds, re­port it to the Ci­ti­zens’ Ad­vice con­sumer ser­vice on 08454 040506.

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