Residents warned of fake council tax phone scam

We have received a report of a fraud scam where the caller pretends to be from the council tax office and says a refund is due.

Published: Friday, 20th April 2018

A resident was told he’d been overpaying council tax for some time before being asked to pay £100 by debit card to have the overpayment returned to him. He refused, and rang us about the call. He said a friend of his had received a similar call and also refused to hand over bank details.

Watford Borough Council is aware of a number of council tax refund scams that are currently operating across the country. Watford Borough Council will write to you directly if your council tax account is in credit.

Someone may telephone you, email you, text you, message you, or appear at your door, claiming that you are owed a refund or that they can reduce your council tax bill as you are in the wrong council tax band.

The callers may claim to be from the council or the Valuation Office Agency and they may use a number of tactics to get you to part with your money including:

  • Asking you to pay a fee in order to get the refund
  • Asking for your bank details
  • Asking for your card details and pin number
  • Claiming that you have to pay a fee to challenge your council tax band or that you must have an agent representing you to do this.

If you think your council tax account is in credit and/or that you are due a council tax refund you can check your account online (if registered) or you can contact our council tax department by calling 01923 226400, or sending an email to

The Valuation Office Agency is responsible for determining the council tax band for your home, and has provided some useful information about council tax scams and what you can do to avoid them, and how you can check/challenge your council tax band free of charge. This information is available via their website.

Herts Police and Herts County Council are able to offer more information about phone scams.

If you have been the victim of a scam please contact the police straight away, and/or report it to Action Fraud.

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