Police warn of new council tax scam

Thieves are targeting vans in Rotherham

Thieves are targeting vans in Rotherham

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Police officers are warning Derbyshire residents to be on their guard against council tax scammers.

Derbyshire Police has teamed up with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to encourage residents to protect themselves from fraudsters who call their victims and claim they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket.

The scam involves victims being told that they are entitled to a rebate but that they need to pay an administration fee in advance.

They ask for payments of between £60 and £350.

Victims have reported making the payment and then being unable to ever speak to the person who originally called.

Detective Inspector Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit, said: “Fraudsters are continuingly calling their victims with new ways of convincing them to part with their hard earned cash.

“This can often leave people feeling upset, vulnerable, and often too embarrassed to ask for help and support from friends, family, or police.

“Since mid-July Action Fraud has received 16 reports of this incident and none of those were in Derbyshire. However, as part of our Stamp out Fraud in Derbyshire campaign, we are committed to raise awareness of these types of scams to help local residents to further protect themselves from fraudsters.”

He added: “Top tips to protect yourself and family from council tax scammers include never responding to unsolicited phone calls.

“Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate, if you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.

“No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order receive money, so never give them your card details.

“If you think you have been a victim, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open.”

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