A fresh warning has been issued to Burnham-On-Sea residents this week over council tax scammers.
Sedgemoor District Council is advising residents to be aware of a scam in which residents are offered co-called ‘deals’ to reduce monthly payments.
A council spokesperson said: “With annual council tax bills due to land on doormats across Sedgemoor from March 11th, Sedgemoor District Council is warning residents that this is the time of year when scammers can target people.”
“One current scam that has been brought to the district council’s attention is from a company claiming to be called ‘claimers’ who call on behalf of Sedgemoor District Council and ask for £95 to lower your Council Tax banding.”
“But Council Tax bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency and can only be changed under certain conditions. Details can be found at www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals. You will not be charged for the service.”
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.
Meanwhile, across the country, The National Fraud Authority estimates that fraudulent single person discounts are costing councils and taxpayers over £92m a year.
Continuing the crackdown on fraud, Sedgemoor District Council will be running checks to make sure that people claiming a single person’s discount on their council tax bill are claiming legitimately.
A spokeswoman said: “In Sedgemoor, there are approximately 17,000 people who claim the discount. Sedgemoor District Council is checking by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household by using sophisticated data matching technology. Fraud investigation is carried out within data protection and GDPR regulations.”
“Currently a 25% discount, ranging from a minimum of £195.25 a year and up to a maximum of £754.25, is given to persons stating they are living in a property on their own. If the checks indicate that another adult is living at the address, the discount will be withdrawn.”
“Residents who are genuinely claiming the discount have nothing to worry about, but anyone found to be deliberately misleading the Council could face a fine and legal action. There is an on-line form at https://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/article/1805/Discounts where people can apply for this discount.”
Members of the public with any concerns should call 0300 303 7801.