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Havering Council warns residents again of council tax scam

PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 January 2016

Havering Council warns residents on an on-going council tax telephone scam   Credit: PA images

Havering Council warns residents on an on-going council tax telephone scam Credit: PA images

PA/Press Association Images

Havering Council warns residents of an on-going council tax scam, which continues to trick people,

Since the summer, scammers have called residents, telling them they are owed money due to a historic backlog in poll tax.

The caller ask the resident for a £65 “release fee” in order to obtain the higher amount of money which is owed.

But Havering Council does not charge a release fee for council tax refunds but instead refunds, which are due, are sent out to resident as a cheque.

The council is urging residents to beware of the scam and to spread the message to their family, friends and neighbours and has issued a series of guidelines about signs which can indicate a scam.

If the call, letter, email or text is unexpected and the company is not familiar, and if the company ask for money to be sent in advance and a quick response is necessary, residents should ask the caller they want to check their identity, write their name down and hang up the phone.

People are advised to wait 15 minutes before using their telephone again or to use another line to make a call because scammers will keep the line open.

Councillor Osman Dervish, cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “People should always double check details if someone contacts them out of the blue to offer a sum of money. If it sounds like it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Advise is available from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

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