Elderly people in Chorley are being warned to be on their guard against companies offering rebates on council tax.
Chorley Council has issued the warning after being contacted by a number of residents who have been told they can appeal against their council tax banding and could get a refund.
Coun Peter Wilson, who is responsible for council tax at Chorley Council, said: “That part is true, people have every right to appeal their council tax banding and if the banding is reduced they may receive a refund.
“What is wrong is companies charging an upfront fee for doing so, because it is something that people can do for themselves at no cost. All you need to do is contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) directly.”
Coun Wilson says some residents are being asked to pay upfront fees of up to £150.
He said: “It is the VOA that is responsible for making sure your home is in the right council tax band.
“If you think it’s wrong, you can contact them and explain why.
“They will ask you to confirm that the details they hold about your home are correct.
“If it appears that your band is wrong, the VOA will look into it. If they agree, they will put it right and they don’t charge for this service.
“We’ve been getting calls saying elderly people in particular are being targeted and that they are being asked to pay a fee upfront, one was over £150.
“Also people are being led to believe that the companies are acting on behalf of Chorley Council and/or Lancashire County Council, but they’re not, only the VOA can revaluate your home.
“We’d advise anyone who receives a call or a knock at the door about this not to give out any details or money, but to take the person’s name and contact the Council on 01257 515151.”
More information on the service that the Valuation Office Agency offers can be found e at www.voa.gov.uk or you can call them on 03000 501 501.