Council Tax and Business Rates scams - be aware

There are a number of tactics that fraudulent agents may use to get you to part with your money. This information is to help and protect you to be aware of these scams and what you can do to stop them from taking your money.

Types of scams

Fraudulent agents may:

  • Insist you are definitely in the wrong Council Tax Band and are owed back payments on your Council Tax Bill, when in reality your band is correct.
  • Say they are from the local Council or Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and ask for your bank details so they can process a refund, then steal money from your bank account.
  • Claim the VOA charges you to challenge your Council Tax Band – this is incorrect you can do this for free.
  • Claim that taxpayers by law, be represented by an agent to appeal their band, when in fact anyone can do this.
  • State that they are on the approved list of agents recognised by the VOA, when in fact the VOA does not keep such a list.
  • Tell you that they have submitted on your behalf an appeal to the VOA and give you a forged acknowledgement notice when in fact they have not submitted an appeal.

How to avoid the scams

  • Remember that you can have your Council Tax Band checked free of charge by contacting the VOA and make an appeal yourself free of charge against the Banding at www.gov.uk
  • Remember that you can check your Business Rates valuation on-line free of charge and appeal yourself free of charge against the valuation.
  • Contact a cold caller’s head office to check they are legitimate (make sure that your last call has ended properly and that you have the dial tone before redialling the number).
  • Contact the Council or the VOA if you receive a call offering to reduce your Band or Rateable Value to check their story.
  • Dial 999 if a doorstep cold caller refuses to leave your home.
  • Report any suspected scam to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0330 123 2040.
Last updated on: 27/09/2017 - 10:02