Oxford City Council is warning Oxford businesses against business rates scams aimed at getting their personal bank details and conning them out of their money.
Scammers are contacting people by phone, text and email and posing as staff from the council, the Valuation Office Agency or the Tax Recovery Bureau in order to defraud them.
Current scams include telling people they have paid too much business rates and are due a refund, which fraudsters offer to claim on their behalf for a fee. The council will never ask for payment to make a business rates refund.
Another scam involves telling people their business property is valued incorrectly and offering a refund in return for a fee – business property reassessments are free. A third scam demands payment for supposed business rates arrears.
The council does ask for information from businesses to administer their council tax accounts, including refunds or arranging arrears collection. Businesses who want to verify genuine contact from the council should call 01865 249811 or email email@example.com – all Oxford City council email addresses end with @oxford.gov.uk.
More information about Business Rate scams can be found on the GOV.UK website.