Warning issued about council tax rebate scam

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Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) have joined forces this week to warn people to be aware of a general tax or council tax rebate cold caller scam.

In the scam, fraudulent cold callers posing as council officials or other professionals are making telephone calls and sending text messages in order to convince potential victims they are due a tax rebate, when in fact this may not be the case.

The fraudsters are even telling victims how much tax you can claim back, but emphasising that an advance fee payment is required in order to make the tax claim successful.

A spokesman for Humberside Police said: “A genuine company or organisation will never ask people for an advance fee payment to cover the administrative costs of a tax claim.

“It’s not always easy to identify if a tax rebate is legitimate, but people can protect themselves by following this advice.”

* Never take up offers of tax rebates on the spot from cold calls and text messages.

Take a look at the HMRC tax refund/rebate scams for information and advice.

* Don’t give bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out research on them first.

* Always check an organisations credentials, such as whether it’s permanent business address is registered in the UK and whether it has a landline telephone number – mobile numbers given by fraudsters are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.

* Seek independent financial advice as deem appropriate before claiming any form of tax.

If affected by this, or any other type of fraud, the public should report it to Action Fraud by visiting the website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by telephoning 0300 123 2014.