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Telephone scam warning from Dorset Councils

Councils in Dorset are warning people about calls from an organisation offering to reduce their council tax for a fee.

These calls are not from, or authorised by, any council. The organisation is offering to reduce the council tax liability upon receipt of a fee. A recent call to a Christchurch resident asked for the person’s bank details. Luckily those details were not provided.

Paul Hudson, Partnership Manager at the Stour Valley & Poole Partnership, which administers council tax for Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset and Poole councils, said: “People should be aware that these calls do not come from the councils and if people are looking to challenge their council tax they can contact the government’s Valuation Office Agency for free.”

For details of how to challenge the council tax band which a property falls into, go to www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals or call 0300 0501 501.

The councils will only ask for people’s bank account details over the phone to make or arrange payment of council tax. If someone from a council visits a resident they will always carry an identity card. If the person visited or called is concerned, please call the partnership help line on 0345 034 4569 to confirm the identity of the visitor or the caller. A genuine visitor will be happy to wait outside while this is done.

Anyone concerned about any organisation calling and asking for bank details should make a note of the number of the caller and call the police on 101.