Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Warning On New Council Tax Phone Scam

21st August 2011

Trading Standards Officers from The Highland Council are warning residents that a Council Tax scam may be operating in the region.

The scam involves unsuspecting consumers receiving a phone call from an individual pretending to be from the Council or from the UK Treasury and offering a refund on their Council Tax. In one instance reported to Trading Standards, the caller stated the consumer had been selected because they have been in employment and paid income tax over a period of time and were entitled to a reward in the form of a Council Tax refund of between 5000 & 7000.

Next comes the "catch". The consumer is told that an upfront payment of 95 is required to process the refund. The scammers then ask for the resident's bank details to collect a payment or issue the promised refund. The caller also offers to arrange a visit to the resident's home within the hour to collect the 95 in cash, if this is more convenient to the resident, and then send a cheque for the refund.

David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Team Leader at Highland Council said: "This council tax scam is an example of an 'advance fee fraud'. Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise. Almost all of these scams rely on payment being made online or via money transfer companies. This particular scam introduces a worrying new development in that there may be fraudsters on the ground in the Highland Council area able to travel to the consumer's home to collect the money in person."

Trading Standards have also reported this matter to the Police. Inverness Area Commander, Chief Inspector Graeme Murdoch, said: "We share Trading Standards concern about the cash collection service offered by these individuals and would remind members of the public to remain vigilant against this type of crime. I would reiterate the advice given by Trading Standards and urge people to contact their local police station if they feel they have been the victim of such a scam."

David MacKenzie added: "We urge Highland residents not to be conned by these scammers and to hang up the phone when they receive this sort of call. Finally, if you are a carer for a vulnerable person please let them know about this scam."

Council Tax payers are also reminded that the local authority may phone them to discuss tax issues, but not in the manner used by the scammers. A spokesperson for Council Tax in Highland explained: "We also want people to be on their guard for this sort of scam but do remember that Highland Council staff may legitimately telephone residents to discuss council tax payments. The key difference of course is when we phone we have some of the resident's details to hand. If you have any doubt as to the authenticity of the call, please call the Council's free phone council tax helpline on 0800 39381."

Concerned residents can contact The Highland Council's Trading Standards service at 38 Harbour Road, Inverness or telephone Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 for free and confidential advice regarding consumer issues.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Redesign continues to deliver improvements
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting.   In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.  
Resurfacing road works on B862 and B851
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House.   Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.  
Highland Council agrees 5-year Capital Programme
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years.   The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.  
Council Issues More Fines In Caithness For Dog Fouling and Fly Tipping
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling.   A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.  
Council Administration to present a programme of investment
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands.  We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.  
Highland Council to make special case for capital investment
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather.   Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.  
Highland Council Winter Road Condition And School Closure Report For Wednesday 7 March 2018
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at   The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.  
Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.Thumbnail for article : Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.
The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.   The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.  
Partnership for Procurement - Supplying to the Public Sector
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector.   Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.  
Northern Alliance data demonstrates Highland Schools ‘closing the attainment gap'
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication.  The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.  

[Printer Friendly Version]