West Norfolk Council is urging customers to be wary of callers asking for an upfront fee in return for reducing the amount of council tax they would need to pay.
A number of residents in the borough have recently received calls from a company alleging that they could be entitled to a refund on their council tax banding.
The callers tempt victims with promises of cash back but then make attempts to take an upfront fee.
The council said in some instances payments have been taken from an individual’s account without their consent.
Councillor Brian Long, leader of the council and portfolio holder for resources, said: “These companies or organisations target people who are vulnerable or less well off and promise an easy pass to financial gain.
“However, the organisation that deals with appeals on council tax banding is the valuation office and if anyone thinks they are paying too high a band, they should contact the valuation office themselves.
“These sorts of scams that demand upfront payment for goods, services or financial gains that never materialise seem to be on the rise and I would urge people to be vigilant.”
The following advice has been issued for west Norfolk residents:
Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven’t bought, or financial institutions you don’t normally deal with contact you about outstanding debts, take action. Your identity may have been stolen.
Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering you business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always question it.
If you have been a victim of fraud, be aware of fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a law enforcement officer and tell you they can help you recover the money you’ve already lost.
If you need fraud advice, call Action Fraud on 03001232040 to discuss your situation with a specialist fraud adviser. To report a fraud, you can either use our online fraud reporting form or make your report by calling 0300 123 2040.