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AIBU to be pissed off with the council who sent this

(71 Posts)
StonedRoses Sat 26-Oct-19 22:15:08

Today my DW has received SIX letters in the post about an unpaid council tax bill for a property in a city we’ve never visited - let alone owned property in. It says there is a court order and some of these go back to 2013. The order is the bill for the tax plus court fees - and threatening bailiffs in 14 days. No first name but her initial and surname and sent to our address (where we do pay council tax!!) It looks genuine, links to that council website. Of course their phone lines aren’t open till Monday.

Is it a mistake, scam or identity theft? What should we do. My DW is very upset and shaken and worried about bailiffs taking our stuff. How do we prove we have no idea what this is on about? Any advice gratefully received. What do we do if bailiffs turn up. Should I just pay it on a card to remove this risk then try to claim it back.

OP’s posts: |
DuckWillow Sat 26-Oct-19 22:17:25

No don’t pay it.
Send it back to the court saying “not at this address”.

It’s not your wife’s bill.

Nothing will happen this weekend.

Phone them first thing on Monday.

Gojojogogogo Sat 26-Oct-19 22:17:31

I'd put it on a credit card and claim it back if they take you to court xx

SquishySquirmy Sat 26-Oct-19 22:19:57

Don't pay!
I'd assume identity theft, phone them on Monday but also maybe see citizens advice or similar?
Don't worry too much, it may be a pain on the neck but it will work itself out.

hairyheadphones Sat 26-Oct-19 22:20:11

My mum has a letter stating she owed council tax for a property in another borough. Like your wife’s letter it had her initial and surname on. DM took it to her local council and they confirmed it was a scam letter and to ignore.

StonedRoses Sat 26-Oct-19 22:20:13

I’m pissed off because it’s an aggressive, threatening letter with no suggestion it may be wrong. Not even a line about what to do if the details are wrong

OP’s posts: |
Celebelly Sat 26-Oct-19 22:21:00

Don't pay. If bailiffs do come round, which I doubt will happen on a Sunday, you can arrange payment then usually. Just speak to the council on Monday to get it sorted.

AthollPlace Sat 26-Oct-19 22:22:01

Nothing will happen over the weekend. Call them on Monday. NOT the phone number in the letter as it may be fake! Google them and call direct. It’s probably a scam.

StonedRoses Sat 26-Oct-19 22:22:03

The letter isn’t from the court, it’s from the local authority. We’ve never had any previous corresponding. Like I say it’s not our address, never has been, never been to the city. It’s so obviously wrong I don’t know how to prove it

OP’s posts: |
Bourbonbiccy Sat 26-Oct-19 22:22:51

It's not your bill, I really wouldn't pay it.

I would ring/visit the council on Monday morning to establish if it is actually real. Not the number on the letter the actual Local council number.

Be careful who you give your money to. Good luck.

mrsed1987 Sat 26-Oct-19 22:23:20

You wont need to prove it as its a scam

StonedRoses Sat 26-Oct-19 22:30:39

I don’t think it’s a scam. Checked the details. It’s from the council. It’s a genuine reference number and links to the property mentioned. It’s six letters all saying the same thing but for different years. But it’s not ours! I’ve never even visited this city

OP’s posts: |
StonedRoses Sat 26-Oct-19 22:32:54

And I can’t visit the council as it’s miles away.
My DW is very worried about bailiffs coming when I’m at work

OP’s posts: |
Owlsintowels Sat 26-Oct-19 22:35:17

Just phone them on Monday and tell them exactly what you say here - you don't own the property in question and it is a mistake.
If they take you to court, which they won't, tell the court the same.
They will have to prove your do owe the money to get it, and they can't.
Don't pay baliffs, don't let them in.
It's either a scam or it'll work itself out

Owlsintowels Sat 26-Oct-19 22:36:01

Tell her to go out for the day! This can wait until Monday.

hairyheadphones Sat 26-Oct-19 22:36:46

The letter DM had looked genuine too, the web links were the correct ones for the council too.

Tatty101 Sat 26-Oct-19 22:37:06

It's a known scam - they look very realistic these days!

I'd agree with PPs, call the Council on Monday through their direct number (I.e. not the one on the letter) to discuss.

Even if it was actually genuine (which I'm 99% certain it isnt) they'd need to prove you lived there at the time the bill is for. Presumably you were living somewhere else and paying council tax somewhere else so that should be easily resolved.

Definitely a scam very similar to this going around though!

Cherrysoup Sat 26-Oct-19 22:37:46

Of course don’t pay it! Phone them on Monday, tell them to sort it, this is ridiculous.

NeverTwerkNaked Sat 26-Oct-19 22:39:31

Just phone them first thing on Monday. It will be fine, honestly , but make sure you get in touch asap.
We often use agents to trace people who owe council tax or similar and I guess sometimes they must find the wrong person
Don't panic but don't ignore it either.

Spermysextowel Sat 26-Oct-19 22:39:56

The council has probably used a data matching service & has come up with your wife as a likely match. It could be that she shows up on records at your address starting from around the time that the person with the same name left their area. Call them on Monday & explain that she’s never rented or owned the property & they should quickly realise that they’ve got the wrong person.

BoneAppleTeaa Sat 26-Oct-19 22:39:56

My guess would be the council has used a Bailiff or tracing agent to find someone they think is the person who holds the account, ie someone with the same initials etc as your wife. I would not worry about it this weekend, get your wife to contact the council tax team at the council on Monday (but get the number from the councils website rather than the letter just in case).

NeverTwerkNaked Sat 26-Oct-19 22:41:21

And yes, get the phone number direct from their website not from the letter.

ffswhatnext Sat 26-Oct-19 22:46:37

You don’t have to visit the council you can do it over the phone. You can even email them although the response will be slower.

At the moment it’s just the letter letting you know it’s with the bailiffs. The bailiffs will send you a letter giving you a deadline.

But she can call the council on Monday, not you as it’s not your name.

If by some chance the bailiffs do call by she doesn’t have to open the door. And make sure all windows are closed. Think of them as vampires they need an invite or a police escort.

All she has to do if she talks to them is let them know it’s in dispute with CT.

I’m wondering about her reaction and you are dealing with it, is she going through some stuff at the moment. If she is there templates that can be downloaded she can just give it to any bailiffs.

Oh and you shouldnt be able to google a council tax number should you? Nothing comes up when I search mine.

loulouscandi Sat 26-Oct-19 22:46:43

Don’t all hate me but i work for a council tax department, sounds like a mistake to me. Seems like they have wrongly got the details from somewhere, ring them on Monday and explain. They won’t send it to the bailiffs for a couple of weeks and even then it would be a while before they would turn up. So I wouldn’t worry about that happening before you contact them on Monday.
Hopefully that helps

FlamingoAndJohn Sat 26-Oct-19 22:48:18

Don’t even think about paying it.
Even if it was genuine then the bailiffs won’t be knocking on the door on Monday.

Look online for the genuine details of the council for that property. Don’t call the numbers on the letter.

Perhaps contact Action Fraud to put your mind at rest in the meanwhile.

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