Scam Phone Call – Council Tax Arrears

This was shared by a Peterborough resident in order to protect others – It’s the transcript of a phone call that her Mother received last week:

“You are in debt £1,998 on your Council Tax bill. This issue will be taken to court and you will get house arrested. If you don’t want to resolve this debt in court, you must pay for a solicitor. I can help taking you to the solicitor to solve this Council Tax case. If you don’t get the solicitor or pay the £1,998 debt now, you can get house arrested.”

Luckily, the lady’s daughter was there at the time and when she noticed that her Mother was feeling panicked and confused by the phone call, she took the call and ended it.

They then did exactly the right thing: they contacted the City Council directly where the team confirmed that the lady was fully up-to-date with her Council Tax, that it would NEVER threaten someone with “house arrest” and that it would send out reminder letters if the account was in arrears.


Never be Rushed – Take the time to talk to friends and family if you are worried about a cold call approach, whether that has come by phone, mail, online or on the doorstep.

Stay in Control – Make your own enquiries as the lady and her daughter did here.

If you need to phone to check the veracity of a call:

Use a phone number you know and trust, not one the caller gives you.

Make sure the line you use is clear (by leaving 10 mins before phoning, or phoning a friend first), or maybe use a different device. This is to prevent what is known as “no hang up” fraud where the scammer stays on the line.