Image demonstrating Warning over Council Tax call scam

Warning over Council Tax call scam

Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards Service is again urging residents to be on their guard following another report about a Council Tax telephone scam.

The caller claimed to be phoning from the county council and stated there was an issue with their Council Tax banding. Unfortunately an amount of money was ultimately taken from the residents' account.

To reduce the risks of falling for cold call scams Trading Standards has the following tips:
  • Be wary of unsolicited callers suggesting or implying that you are due a refund or other money.
  • Never provide your personal details or bank or credit card details.
  • Don’t take unsolicited calls when you are busy and can’t give the salesman your full attention – if you want to talk, ask them to call back at a convenient time.
  • Don’t agree to something on the phone just to get rid of a persistent caller.
  • If you’re not clear about who you are speaking to, terminate the call.

Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said “It’s sad that there are people out there who devote so much time and effort to ripping off other people. It does mean that everyone has to be careful.

“The Council would never contact a resident in this manner to issue a refund.”

David Sayer, Business Compliance and Public Safety Unit Manager, added: “We would urge residents to be vigilant. Unfortunately scammers can be very persuasive and can con people into believing that they are legitimate so always remember to be on your guard when passing on your details to a third party."

Anyone who receives one of these calls and would like further advice should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the Council and you are unsure, please ask them for their name and extension and then call the council on 0345 600 6400 to speak to them.  

Do not ring a direct line number if you are unsure of who you are dealing with; the Council’s Contact Centre will immediately know if the number given is genuine.
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