Highland Council Trading Standards Warns Of Council Tax Scam
9th August 2021
The Highland Council Trading Standards is warning Highland residents that text messages stating they are due a tax refund from their local council is a scam.
Recipients are warned not to click on any links and to not share their bank details.
Mark McGinty, Trading Standards Team Leader states: "By stirring up positive emotions and mentioning large sums of money, the intention of the scammer is to con people out of their money or to obtain their personal information to commit fraud.
"Please do not engage with anyone who contacts offering a Tax refund. Do not give out any personal information, particularly bank account or debit or credit details. If you have any queries about Tax, you should contact who you would pay the tax to, in this case the text states the local council, so you should contact the Highland Council."
Sheila McKandie, Head of Revenues & Business Support explained: "Any communication with Council Tax payers from the Council relating to a refund of money would be in writing. We would never cold call customers and ask for bank details. If anyone has a neighbour or relative who may be more susceptible to such activity, please look out for them and share this cautionary message as widely as possible.
"If anyone is in doubt as to the authenticity of any contact regarding Council Tax, please call the Council's freephone Council Tax helpline on 0800 393811.”
Highland Council Trading Standards work in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland (ADS). Residents who think they may need advice can contact ADS who offer free and confidential consumer advice on Freephone 0808 164 6000 or by email through their website address at: www.consumeradvice.scot
The Highland Council's resilient digital learning estate continues to connect and support learners and educators across Highland, including the creation of a new digital toolkit for teaching staff. Education Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The extensive digital learning estate available across Highland for staff, pupils, parents and carers is an effective way to empower and develop digital opportunities across Highland schools.
Members of the public are being invited to comment on a Draft Gambling Policy Statement for the coming years 2022-25. The Highland Council is consulting on the draft policy statement on behalf of The Highland Licensing Board under the Gambling Act 2005.
At the meeting of The Highland Council Members supported a starred item put forward by Caithness Members. The Thurso and North West Caithness and the Wick and East Caithness Ward Councillors asked that the Council creates and implements a Council wide playground strategy that considers the needs and expectations of communities and supports the active play, well-being and social activity of children and their families.
Members at a meeting on 9 September 2021 of the Highland Council agreed the scope, budget, phasing and timescale for 5 priority school projects including Beauly Primary, Culloden Academy, Dunvegan Primary, Park Primary, and St Clements School. It was also agreed that these projects are to be incorporated into the Council's current capital programme.
Given the importance of tourism to the Highland economy and the need for the tourism experience to be positive for visitors and communities, members have agreed to extend the Visitor Management Plan funding into the 2022 season by a one-off investment of £1.5m. A one-off Visitor Management Plan investment of £2.4m agreed by the Council in March 2021 for this year's season has enabled a range of service improvements.
On behalf of The Highland Council, High Life Highland has this week advertised a tender and invitation to quote seeking creative filming and photography input to the Inverness Castle - Spirit of the Highlands project. The tender and invitation to quote will contribute to Spirit:Journeys, a natural and cultural heritage initiative that will deliver many benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region.
Artists and craft makers across the Highlands, Moray and the Western Isles can apply for bursaries of up to £750 for their creative development. The Visual Artist and Craft Makers Awards (VACMA) are funded by Creative Scotland in partnership with Inverness Museum and Art Gallery (IMAG) and can support artists at all stages of their career.
A planned Family Music Day in Inverness has been postponed, High Life Highland has said. Due to take place on September 11 in Bellfield Park, a decision was taken following careful monitoring of the evolving Covid-19 situation across the Highlands.
A letter has been sent to parents and guardians of pupils in S1 and S3 at Wick High School on Friday 27th August 2021. Dear Parent or Guardian, We have identified a possible case of COVID-19 in a pupil in your child's year group.
The Highland Council has today (27 August 2021) welcomed Scottish Government's publication of a forward-thinking report on coastal change for the area in East Sutherland stretching from Golspie to Coul. It provides a summary of the latest ‘Dynamic Coast' science and is intended to support key partners in developing and implementing a response, which could include resilience and adaptation measures.