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Barking and Dagenham Council issues warning over council tax scam

PUBLISHED: 11:57 11 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:57 11 September 2020

Scammers have sent out letters offering a council tax refund. Picture: LBBD

Scammers have sent out letters offering a council tax refund. Picture: LBBD

Archant

Scammers have been sending letters to people offering a council tax refund.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: Andreas GriegerCllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: Andreas Grieger

Barking and Dagenham Council has warned neighbours to ignore the letter which looks like it comes from the local authority but doesn’t.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “I am urging our residents not to be fooled by this letter – it is a scam. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

The letter is on headed paper with an old council logo and tells readers of a government scheme which could mean they are in line for a refund of the last five months’ worth of council tax.

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It invites people to verify their email addresses and provide an update with the personal details of everyone living in the property.

People are being warned it is a fake with no such scheme being run by the government or the council.

The letter goes on to claim that from August 26, “citizens can apply for up to 1 full year free of charge council tax. Based on your area, your time at the address and household income you can be eligible to avoid paying 3 months, 6 months or even 12 months of council tax”.

Cllr Mullane said: “I am appealing to residents who may have received this letter to please ignore it. If any resident has responded and supplied their details, they should immediately check with their banks to be sure money has not been taken from their accounts.

“If people receive any letters claiming to be from the council that they are unsure about please contact the council to verify.”

If you suspect any scam, report it to the consumer helpline on freephone 0808 2231133.


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