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Tax Rebate Fraud - July 2017

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has received intelligence which suggests that fraudsters may be posing as council officials or professionals and cold calling customers stating that they are eligible for a general tax or council tax rebate.

They will invariably use this deception technique, along with texting customers, to convince the intended victims that their tax rebate is legitimate, when in fact this may not be the case. The fraudsters will tell you how much tax you can claim back but emphasise that an advance fee payment is required in order to make the tax claim successful.

There has been a particular increase in the number of reports relating to fake council tax rebates in the last few weeks.

Whilst it may not be necessarily easy to identify if a tax rebate is legitimate, you should undertake suitable due diligence and assure yourself that the tax you are planning to claim is genuine.

Protection/prevention advice:

  • Conduct vigorous due diligence on any event of a cold call associated with a tax rebate.

  • Seek independent financial advice as you deem appropriate prior to claiming any form of tax.

  • Check credentials, including a permanent business address and landline telephone number. The mobile numbers given by fraudsters are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.

  • Always check a company's contact details (such as a website, address and phone number) are correct and that they are registered in the UK.

  • Never take up offers of tax rebates on the spot from cold calls and texts messages. Take a look at  Avoid and Report Internet Scams the same theme can be applied to private companies and public organisations.

  • Don't give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on them.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to  Action fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.