and Highbridge residents warned over phone scam
and Highbridge residents have this week been warned to be vigilant
as an 'identity theft phone scam' has been reported in the area.
District Council is warning residents not to be taken in by a company
claiming to be acting on behalf of the council.
have told us that GSM Marketing - 0203 861633 - have called them
and is charging a £150 up-front fee, which is taken from the
residents' bank accounts, in return for 'lowering their council
tax band'," says Claire Faun, a spokeswoman for Sedgemoor District
is not a phone call from Sedgemoor District Council - do
not give anyone your bank account details. Council Tax bands
are set by the Valuation Office Agency and can only be changed under
"Details can be found online
and if you think your band is wrong, you can contact the Valuation
Office Agency to use the free service."
The council adds: "If you are struggling to pay your Council
Tax bill and need help, speak with a member of the Council Tax Team
on 0300 303 7801 who will be able to offer help and advice."
"If you have given over personal details, we would advise
you to call the Police straight away on 101 and report the matter
as an identity theft scam. The Police will also direct you to the
Action Fraud helpline on 0300 123 2040."
Thomas, Head of Somerset Trading Standards, added: "Scams are
becoming more and more sophisticated. Criminals are coming up with
new and quite innovative ways to fool people into giving up their
hard cash, personal information or other data."
"Many fall victim to scams. Theres no shame in that because
scams can look so credible. And yet we dont like to talk about
it, even though talking about it raises awareness of scams and is
actually one of best ways of preventing these crimes."
Age UK research found that around two-fifths of older people across
the UK around five million people who believed that
theyd fallen victim to scams, didnt report it to an
official channel. Many said theyd not reported it because
they felt too embarrassed.
Seventy-five is the average age of reported scam victims. Figures
from National Trading Standards show that older people are deliberately
targeted, and fall victim most to phone and mail scams. The over
70s group sees the largest proportion of people who are recurring
victims of scams.
Theres also evidence that the number of under 25s becoming
victim to scams is rising; fuelled possibly by an over-confidence
in using new digital technology, making them complacent and increasingly