Local councils worried about council tax rebate scams
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With over 20 million households eligible for the £150 rebate, criminals are tapping into this market and targeting vulnerable people. Local councils have put out warnings to help those expecting the payment to remain vigilant when answering random phone calls.
On Morning Live, Rav Wilding gave a “serious warning” to viewers about council tax rebate scams.
He explained that scammers will be using phishing techniques as well as cold calling to try and access people’s bank accounts.
The rebates are being paid between April and September 2022 which gives scammers “a large opportunity” to target victims as it is a long period of time.
Local councils are worried about this time period as some families may be left waiting up to six months due to delays, meaning a longer period to be scammed.
There are many councils warning about this, including:
- Somerset West and Taunton
- Folkestone & Hythe District
Wakefield Council tweeted: “We are aware of scam calls being made to residents asking for bank details in relation to the Council Tax energy Rebate scheme.
“Please DO NOT give out your details over the telephone.”
Mr Wilding continued: “The bottom line is if you pay council tax via direct debit you don’t need to do anything. The money will come back into that account that you pay from.
“If you don’t use direct debit you will be sent a letter from your local council advising you what to do.
“The LGA – the body that look after local council authorities – have been quite clear.
“Your local council won’t phone you and ask for bank details over the phone.
“So if you do get someone phoning and asking for bank details claiming to be from your council, it’s not them.
“Just put the phone down.”
The council tax rebate is designed to give a small break to those living in typically lower-value homes, that are generally occupied by people on lower incomes.
Households in bands A to D will be able to claim the discount worth £150 on their council tax bill through the Government’s rebate.
Every Briton in these tax brackets make up 80 percent of all people in the country, according to Government statistics.
People will not need to make applications for this support as the rebate will be automatically given to eligible households.
Furthermore, households do not need to pay back the £150 discount to their local council which will come as a relief to many.
An extra £144million is also being handed out to councils to provide discretionary help for vulnerable households who may not qualify. This will include those who are on low incomes in council tax bands E to H.
If someone pays their council tax via direct debit, the rebate will be automatic.
If someone does not pay off their tax bill via this payment method, their local council will get in touch to address how the rebate will be delivered.
Pension Credit claimants may be able to get a council tax reduction if they receive the guarantee part of the payment.
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