Warning to residents after suspicious claims for payment
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has issued an alert to residents following two reports of suspicious attempts to claim money via different means.
The first case involved a female customer who received a “summons” for unpaid Council Tax via text message. The text claimed the account was in arrears of £82.40 and urged her to make contact with an 0300 number to clear the account. The text message raised suspicion as the customer pays their council tax by monthly direct debit and therefore was not in arrears with her bill.
Residents are reminded the Council does not deal with Council Tax matters via text message and people are urged not to respond to such demands. Customers can contact the Council for more information on their Council Tax account or sign up to manage it online. The secure online service allows residents to check their account balance and when payments are due, and whether correspondence has been sent to them regarding their council tax
The second incident involves a man who had a letter from their bank advising them a monthly standing order set up to pay “Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council” had not been authorised as there was no signature from the account holder.
The standing order mandate claimed the customer had asked for a standing order of £580 a month to be paid to the Council and provided account details from which the payment would be made, with a request for the payments to be made indefinitely.
The resident had not authorised such a standing order and further investigations with the Council confirmed the account information provided for the standing order to be paid into did not belong to the local authority.
Residents are reminded that the Council does not promote paying bills such as council tax by standing order. A more secure and convenient way to pay your council tax is by direct debit. Over 50,000 households currently pay their council tax by direct debit and are able to choose from a variety of payment dates. To sign up please visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk or telephone 01443 425002.
As a result of these two separate incidents, residents are urged to be on their guard and to ensure any suspicious communication they receive claiming to be from, or on behalf of, the Council is checked with the authority first.
On a wider note, banking scams such as the standing order one do, unfortunately, happen and people are urged to regularly check their bank statements for suspicious activity and review standing orders that have been set up.
Report suspicious activity to the council via 01443 425001.
Find out more about managing your Council Tax account online