Householders are being warned to be aware of companies charging an upfront fee to help them win council tax refunds.

Chorley Council has received a number of calls from residents who have been told they can appeal against their council tax banding and possibly get a refund.

Coun Peter Wilson, who is responsible for council tax, said people had the right to appeal their council tax banding, but that people should be aware of scammers asking for upfront payments.

He said: “What is wrong is companies charging an upfront fee because it is something that people can do for themselves at no cost.

“All you need to do is contact the Valuation Office Agency directly.”

The Valuation Office Agency is responsible for making sure homes are in the right council tax band.

Coun Wilson said: “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.”

Anyone who receives a call about reclaiming council tax is advised not to give out any details or money, but to take the person’s name and contact the council on 01257 515151 .