Public warned of phone scam offering phoney tax rebates
A PHONE scam that targets council taxpayers by falsely claiming they have won a council tax rebate has been exposed.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) says households across South Wales have received calls from crooks claiming to be VOA or council officials on 080-028-88640.
They falsely tell their victims that they are eligible for thousands of pounds in council tax rebates.
The “lucky” people are then asked to send the caller their credit card or bank account details so the money can be refunded.
Other scams ask for a one-off administration fee to process the refund.
Tim Eden, VOA director of council tax, said: “This is outrageous and targets vulnerable people with false promises.
“People must not pay any attention to these crooks and should report such calls to the police.
“Some of the callers are very aggressive and intimidating to make people pay up, but people should not be fooled into thinking these calls are legitimate.
“The VOA does not ask people for financial details.”
This latest scam coincides with the launch of a national campaign by the Office of Fair Trading aimed at raising awareness of lottery scams which each year cost an estimated £260m.
About 140,000 adults across the UK fall victim to the scams every year and the average loss per victim is £1,900.
As well as raising awareness, the campaign also aims to provide consumers with practical advice on how to avoid being conned.
Lyn Ackerman, cabinet member for the environment, said: “As tempting as these promises may seem, the winnings do not exist and are never received.”