Con men target council tax payers

Bogus phone callers are targeting council tax payers for their bank details, local authorities have warned.

Comet country residents are being told to beware cold callers claiming to be from North Herts District (NHDC) or Stevenage Borough (SBC) councils who are asking for bank account details so overpayments of council tax can be refunded.

A Stevenage and Hitchin householder have both fallen victim to the scam.

An SBC spokesman said the council would “in most cases” notify people of any underpayment or overpayment in writing.

Cllr Joan Lloyd, executive member for resources, said: “We have had reports that this scam is growing across the country and I would urge people to be on their guard and in particular not to give out personal information such as bank details over the phone.”

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At NHDC, Cllr Terry Hone, finance portfolio holder, said: “We do not make unsolicited calls of this nature. If you have requested a council tax refund, we may call you to ask for bank details or confirm information but we would only do this if we have sent prior notification of the refund or in response to contact from a customer.”

A spokesman for Central Beds Council said no problems of this type had been reported, but urged residents to be wary.

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Residents rung by cold callers asking for bank details on behalf of their local authority are urged not to give out any information but to call the relevant council to check if the call is genuine.

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