A number of Scottish consumers have recently been contacted by email, text or phone and told that they are due a council tax rebate. Some households in Scotland may be eligible for a council tax reduction but you will not receive an unsolicited call or email about it. The safest way to check your eligibility is to use Citizens Advice Scotland’s online tool or to phone their helpline on 0800 085 7145.
Some commonly reported council tax scams are:
- An email appearing to be from your local council, often with official looking government logos, advising that you are due a refund on your council tax. You are asked to click a button or link in the email to find out more. The link directs you to a legitimate-looking website where you will be asked to enter personal and banking details.
- A phone call saying that you may be due a council tax rebate and asking you for personal details or bank details
- A text message saying that you’re entitled to a council tax refund and asking you to click on a link, which will take you to a form asking for your name, address and postcode
A consumer in the Central Belt was phoned by a caller posing as a local council worker and told that they might be due a council tax rebate. The caller offered to send a surveyor to their house for a fee of £150, which would be refunded on completion of the survey. The consumer agreed to pay the fee over the phone, but did not receive a visit from a surveyor. When they got in touch with their local council, they were told that they had not contacted them and that they were not in fact due a rebate.
What to do:
- Don’t give any personal information or bank details to a cold caller, even if they appear to know some of your details already
- Don’t click on any buttons or links in unsolicited emails or texts, even if they look official
- If in doubt, hang up or delete the message and check whether you are really eligible for a council tax reduction through the Citizens Advice Scotland link above
- Report scams to Advice Direct Scotland