Gwynedd Trading Standards have issued a warning over a new council tax scam in which fraudsters are attempting to trick victims out of hundreds of pounds.
Gwynedd residents are being told to remain vigilant after it emerged fraudsters were using a council tax rebate as a new way to con homeowners out of money.
Victims of the scam are phoned and told they have been placed in the wrong tax bracket for a number of years.
They trick the unsuspecting person into thinking they are due a rebate, which they claim is worth thousands of pounds.
Once the con artists have duped the target, they state that in order to get their hands on the cash they need a pay an “administration fee”. This varies between £60 and £350, but once the victim makes the payment all contact ceases.
They then find they can no longer get in contact with the person who phoned them, and when they take up the inquiry with their local council they are informed they have been scammed.
John Eden Jones, Enforcement Officer for Gwynedd Trading Standards said: “Fraudsters are relentless and will work tirelessly to find new ways to convince people to part with their money. These criminals make several calls and will be particularly convincing and provide good reason for why the person should make an immediate payment.”
Councillor Gareth Griffith, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member leading on Environment added: “Residents are advised to never give out card or bank details
“Furthermore, no council will phone out of the blue to discuss a council tax rate and no legitimate organisation will require you to pay a fee in advance Thank you to our Trading Standards team for raising awareness about this new scam, whilst continuing to do valuable work in protecting the people of Gwynedd from scams like this.”
Suspected victims are advised to hang up the call and report the attempted fraud to Gwynedd Council’s Trading Standards Unit on 01766 771000 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org