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Beware of bogus council tax calls
Friday 20th August, 2010

WIGAN Council is warning people to be vigilant after reports of a bogus council tax telephone scam operating in the borough.

Officers from the council's Revenues and Benefits Service have become aware of the scam which involves the fraudsters posing as council staff.

As part of the scam, people are being called and told they have 'over-paid' their council tax. They are then asked for their bank account details so they can receive a refund. They are also informed that an administration fee will also be debited.

But the caller is not a council employee and anyone handing over their details runs the risk of having their bank account cleared.

Cllr Paul Prescott, who is the council's Cabinet Champion for Consumer Protection, is urging everyone to be on their guard.

"We have had a number of reports of this happening both in our area and other parts of Greater Manchester and have informed the police about it. It is a particularly nasty scam which targets people in their own homes with the promise of a council tax refund.

"Our advice is clear, never give anyone your bank or card details over the phone unless you are certain you know who they are.

"Our staff would never make a call like this so please be cautious. If you are uncertain, simply decline to answer the questions and hang up. You can always ring the council to check and to report the call."

Anyone who is contacted in this way can call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 to report it.

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