Warning over council tax band scam
COLD callers have been targeting people in Bolton — claiming they can reduce their council tax band.
Bolton Council’s Trading Standards team has received a catalogue of reports that people have been approached by a new firm claiming people are in the wrong council tax band.
They claim to be able to get them into a lower band and also indicate they can get refunds for council tax.
Complaints have been made that the London-based firm is “very forceful and will not take no for an answer”.
They try to arrange house visits but fail to mention they charge a fee.
Council officers are advising people not to deal with cold call traders and said people can check they are in the right band for free.
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “No private company can guarantee you will be put into a lower council tax band and they should not make claims that you will definitely be entitled to a rebate.
"The vast majority of council tax bandings are correct and there are only certain circumstances that allow a change of band.
“We are also concerned that some residents appear to have been misled into thinking this company is working on behalf of the council or that they are connected to a government agency.
"I would stress that this company has no connection whatsoever with the government, the council or any other official body.
“We advise residents not to deal with traders who cold call. If a company representative does visit your home you can tell the representative to leave and not to return.
"No reason has to be given. It is a criminal offence if they do not comply with your request.”
To inquire about or challenge a council tax band for free call the Valuation Office Agency on 03000 501501 or visit voa.gov.uk.
People concerned about the tactics of the company or feel they have been misled can call trading standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.
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