Money for nothing in Merton council tax scam


Merton residents are being scammed by a fake advice bureau

By Maxim McDonald

Scam phone callers are trying to get Merton residents to cough up money and personal information for advice on getting council tax refunds.

Residents say the callers tell them they are in the wrong tax band and therefore are owed any excess money already paid to the council.

The callers offer to assess their council tax bands at a cost which will later be refunded, in return for money up front and personal details. They are never heard from again.

They claim to be from the Consumers Advice Bureau, a name similar to the community charity Citizens Advice Bureau, who deny any connection to the culprits.

Citizens Advice Bureau spokesperson Moira Haynes said: “We would urge people not to be taken in by this cynical scam perpetrated by people using a name intended to confuse, and to be very wary of giving any personal information over the phone to a cold caller.”

Merton Council Deputy Leader Samantha George says council officers are on hand to discuss as part of a free service any council tax queries residents may have.

Merton Council is advising anyone with queries over their council tax bands to contact their local valuation office or go to

Police say progress has yet to be made in tracking down the offenders, but ask the public to contact them with information on 0300 123 1212.

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