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Warning not to open Council Tax scam doing the rounds in Highlands

By Gavin Musgrove

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The Highland Council Trading Standards is warning residents in the strath that text messages stating they are due a tax refund from the local authority is a scam.

Recipients are being warned not to click on any links and to not share their bank details.

Mark McGinty, the council's trading standards team leader, said: “Please do not engage with anyone who contacts offering a tax refund.

"Do not give out any personal information, particularly bank account or debit or credit details.

"If you have any queries about tax, you should contact who you would pay the tax to, in this case the text states the local council, so those with concerns should contact the Highland Council.”

Sheila McKandie, the council's head of revenues and business support, explained: "Any communication with Council Tax payers from the council relating to a refund of money would be in writing.

"We would never cold call customers and ask for bank details. If anyone has a neighbour or relative who may be more susceptible to such activity, please look out for them and share this cautionary message as widely as possible.

"If anyone is in doubt as to the authenticity of any contact regarding Council Tax, please call the Council's freephone Council Tax helpline on 0800 393811.”

Highland Council Trading Standards work in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland (ADS).

Residents who think they may need advice can contact ADS who offer free and confidential consumer advice on Freephone 0808 164 6000 or by email through their website address at: www.consumeradvice.scot

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