False claims to claim your money back

The Highland Council’s Trading Standards are asking members of the public to beware following recent reported incidents about companies seeking business by saying they can ‘assist claims’ that can be made for overpaid Council Tax or other benefits.  They are also prepared to state that they are working on behalf of The Highland Council when they are not.

Last week, The Highland Council’s Finance Service received information from a concerned resident after receiving a call regarding a Council Tax refund dating back to 1993.  Having only resided in the area since 2007 the storyline was blown immediately and the bank details asked for were not provided, the gentleman caller even went on to plead that he was working on behalf of the Council.

Trading Standards Officers at The Highland Council are investigating the matter with a view to identifying those involved and taking steps to remove any trading authorisation that is in place.

Bob Jones, Principal Trading Standards Officer said: “The Highland Council Trading Standards and Finance Service are working together to combat this latest sales tactic to dupe members of the public.  The matter is currently under further investigation at this time.  I would urge members of the public to be on their guard when someone calls offering to claim back monies for them.   If you are at all suspicious you should specifically ask for a name, then contact The Highland Council reception on 01463 702702 and ask to be connected to this person, under no circumstances should you agree to anything unless they are completely satisfied with the claims that have been made.” 

Members of the public who are concerned about companies calling their home are urged to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 giving full details of the incident or they can visit The Highland Council Trading Standards at: Highland Trading Standards Unit, 38 Harbour Road, Inverness or telephone us on 01463 228700.

17 Sep 2009