Council tax scam warning issued

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Midlothian residents are being warned to be on the guard to a scam relating to overpaid council tax.

A number of people have been contacted by a company claiming they are entitled to a refund dating back to 1993.

One customer, who thought the company was acting on behalf of Midlothian Council, paid an administration fee.

The firm appears to be offering a service to have the council tax band changed.

Stephen Thomson, trading standards manager, said: “We advise the public never to give out their personal and bank account or card details to anyone who cold calls them over the telephone.

“People must always be suspicious of cold calls. If, however, consumers themselves telephone companies, e.g. to order goods or arrange for work to be done to the home and they know that the company is legitimate, then this is when it is generally safe to give one’s details.”

Councillor Jim Bryant, cabinet member for trading standards, added: “This is an appalling scam and we’d urge people to get in touch with us as soon as possible, if they receive a cold call like this. Our team can help crack down on these types of cons and stop the damage of paying out money for something which is worthless.”

Customers can appeal against the council tax banding of their property by contacting the council’s assessors department.

This must be done in writing and usually within six months of receipt a council tax bill. There is no charge for making an appeal and someone else can act on customer’s behalf.

Full details can be found here or they can be contacted for more information or to discuss your valuation band on 0131 344 2500.

Should anyone have any doubts or concerns about a cold call they have received, contact your local trading standards officers on 0131 271 3549 or Police Scotland on 101.