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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Money Saving Expert issues warning to anyone waiting to receive £150 council tax rebate

The Money Saving Expert has issued a fraud warning to households waiting to receive £150 from the Council Tax rebate scheme.

A consumer expert has issued a fraud warning to households waiting to receive £150 from the Council Tax rebate scheme.

Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, has issued a warning for families to be on their guard against fraudsters trying to benefit from the scheme.

Mr Lewis has warned that phone scammers are cold calling residents across the UK pretending to be from their local authority and asking them for bank details in order to process the rebate.

Martin Lewis has warned households to be aware of fraudsters trying to benefit from the scheme.

The Local Government Association (LGA), a cross-party membership body for local authorities, says councils will never ask for bank details over the phone – a tactic scammers are using to try and prise sensitive financial details off you.

If you pay by direct debit, then the Council will already have your bank details and they will process the payment without contacting you. Bradford Council is sending letters out with a secure link on how to access the repayment online to those who do not pay by direct debit.

Around 23 million households in England, Scotland, and Wales will be eligible for the rebate, with more than 197,000 households or 89.5% of families being given the £150 payment in Bradford.

Households in the district that are currently getting a means-tested reduction in their Council Tax will receive an additional £25, meaning that they will receive an energy rebate payment of £175.

The rebate, which is available to households living in council tax bands A – D, is designed to help with the rising cost of energy bills.

Bradford Council has started to make payments to people who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit and people should expect the payments to land in their accounts from next week.

Households that have been excluded from the core energy rebate scheme may also qualify for a £150 payment. Households will need to apply for this but applications with Bradford Council are not open yet.

If you do not know which band your property is in, you can find it on your latest council tax bill or on the Valuation Office website.

Below is a checklist of what you should do if you think you’ve been scammed:

  • If you’ve already responded to a scam, end all further communication immediately.
  • Call your bank directly and cancel any recurring payments – for speed and ease, most can call a new 159 hotline.
  • Report the scam to the police through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report a scam anonymously on the Action Fraud website.
  • If you wish to seek further help, contact Citizens Advice Scams Action via the Citizens Advice website, or call its Scams Action helpline on 0808 250 5050.
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