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Beware of tax refund scams
Thursday 23rd January, 2014

Wigan Borough residents are being warned to ignore phone calls claiming they may be on the wrong tax band and due a refund.

A number of residents have been contacted by a firm claiming they are working with Wigan Council and asked for personal information about their tax bands.

The council today said such claims were false and warned residents to ignore any such approach. Greater Manchester Police have also warned residents about the incidents, urging anyone who is contacted in this way to call the non-emergency number of 101 with any details about the call.

The firm has also been contacting people with letters and emails containing links to official government websites and appear to be legitimate. However, council tax bandings are rarely changed and any change would generally affect a group of properties and would be well-publicised.

Residents who want to know if they are paying the right amount, or if they are owed a refund, can find out by contacting the Valuation Office in Manchester who will investigate for free.

Councillor, Terry Halliwell, said: “We are urging residents to take extra care. You should not give any personal information out over the phone unless you are sure it is safe to do so. Our staff, or any company we work with, would never make an approach like this so please be cautious. If you are uncertain, simply decline to answer the company’s questions and check it out with us.”

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