Fareham Borough Council is warning their residents to be on their guard against bogus officials offering Council Tax refunds or threatening them with fines.
There have been many incidents reported of this scam across the country and we regularly hear of cases in Fareham.
The fraudsters operate by contacting residents through letters, calling at your property, telephoning, texting or emailing you. They may purport to be from Fareham Borough Council or the Valuation Office Agency. They will tell you that you are in the wrong Council Tax Band and are due a refund if you pay them a fee (in fact, if you feel your Council Tax Band is too high, any appeal you make to the Valuation Office Agency is absolutely free)
There are also cases where they demand payment of Council to avoid a fine and they will ask for personal and bank details to allow them to process the payment.
Fareham Borough Council never contact you in this way and any Council Tax owed will relate to a bill we have sent you.
If you receive one of these calls or emails, do not give out any personal information particularity your Bank Account Details or your Debit or Credit Card details, end the call as quickly as possible or delete the relevant email. Fraudsters can get aggressive and ring back if you put the phone down but this is all part of the scam to make you act as they want.
If you are in any doubt as to the authenticity of a call concerning your Council Tax account please contact the Local Taxation Team office on Tel: 01329 824651 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Any genuine direct phone number given out by a Council Tax officer will be in the format "01329 824XXX".
To report a suspected incident of the scam, residents can contact Hampshire County Council Trading Standards by ringing Consumer Direct on 03454 04 05 06.