29th Oct, 2020

Warning issued to Droitwich residents over council tax phone scam

DROITWICH residents are being warned to be on their guard against cold callers who are conning people into pay out hundreds of pounds to have their council tax bandings reviewed.

Following reports of several phone calls from companies claiming the recipient’s property is in the wrong tax band and offering to review it for them for an up front fee, residents are being reminded they can have their bands reviewed for free by Wychavon District Council.

One resident claimed to have paid £150 for someone to look into her banding after receiving a phone call from a marketing company.

After the payment was made, she called the number again but it went straight to voicemail.

All properties in England are given a council tax band, which determines how much they pay, based on the price of the property in 1991.

However, it is possible some properties were put into the wrong bands due to historic errors made in valuing homes by the Government when council tax was introduced.

A check can be made online for free and in minutes or by writing to the Valuation Office Agency which is responsible for allocating council tax bands.

Vic Allison, Wychavon’s deputy managing director, which hosts the South Worcestershire Revenues and Benefits Service for the councils, said: “Companies are acting in an unscrupulous way by trying to charge for a simple check that residents can do themselves online for free.

“Vulnerable residents are being targeted and unfortunately won’t be able to get their money back.

“We want people to be aware of this so they don’t unnecessarily part with their hard earned money.”

Visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/valuation-and-banding for more information.

Residents should go to www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals if they believe their property is in the wrong council tax band.

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