Residents are being told to be extra vigilant this summer as reports of a council tax refund scam have raised concerns.

According to the council, criminals have been portraying themselves as being council employees who have the power to issue refunds or fines – but instead have been stealing people's personal information and bank details.

Residents are being contacted by text, email and phone to con them out of money and access personal bank details.

The scammers tell people they have paid too much council tax and are due a refund which they offer to claim on their behalf for a fee. A similar scam demands payment for council tax arrears.

Another scam aims to convince people their property is in the wrong council tax band and offers to secure a refund, again in return for a payment – even though a council tax band reassessment is available for free via

Fees of £150 have been quoted in the scams which falsely claim to be from local councils or the Valuation Office Agency in a bid to appear official and trick people into falling victim to them.

Some also use the Government’s GOV.UK branding in text messages and emails in a bid to appear more convincing, and often include a link to a fake official-looking website to claim the refund.

Cllr Robin Brown, Richmond Council’s Lead Member for Finance said: “We are aware of an ongoing scam where fraudsters are posing as council staff. You should know that council officers will never phone, text or email residents to ask for a payment to release a council tax refund or ask for personal bank details.

“You should never give out your bank details to anyone who unexpectedly calls, emails or comes to your door and to report any suspected scam to Action Fraud.”

If you believe you may have been a victim of a council tax scam please report it to

Action Fraud