March 3, 2015
Phone scam alert issued to Burnham residents over council tax con

Council tax bills won't be landing on doormats across Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge until mid-March, but tax fraudsters have been operating in the area this week, prompting a warning from Sedgemoor District Council.

The authority has advised Burnham and Highbridge residents to be aware that tricksters are claiming they can save people money by re-assessing their Council Tax Property Band or telling them that they are entitled to Council Tax reductions.

"The complaints relate to either unsolicited phone calls or visits by people claiming they can offer reductions in Council Tax as part of a scheme operated on behalf of the council or government," Sedgemoor's Corporate Relations Manager Claire Faun told

"The callers claim that for a one-off fee they can reassess property bands that could result in homeowners qualifying for lower Council Tax."

"The tricksters also often tell customers that they are due a reduction in their Council Tax Band and then ask them for their bank details for a refund to be made."

She added that other councils have reported scammers claiming to be from a government department, offering a years’ council tax refund as a reward for prompt payment over the past number of years. The resident was suspicious, and when the caller was asked to identify herself and the department she represented the caller hung up.

"This type of scam is similar to a number of bogus telephone calls occurring in growing numbers across the country, the nature of which is to deceive the recipient into revealing personal bank details by promising a refund of Council Tax to be paid into their account," she added.

"If a customer has recently received a phone call and been asked for their bank details they should phone the Council to check the validity."

"If, at any time, a customer has any doubt about the identity of a person telephoning and claiming to work for Sedgemoor they should request a name and extension number and ring 0845 4082540 to confirm the caller’s identity before giving any personal bank details."


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