The council said that residents had reported being contacted by people claiming to represent national claims companies, usually linked to PPI. The callers have been telling residents that the district council has agreed that the banding of the taxpayers property is incorrect, and secondly, the caller requests an upfront payment, reported to be £69.99, to ensure that the householder gets their refund. Councillor Darren Tysoe, whose executive responsibilities include taxation, said: The appeal process is completely free of charge, and so residents should always be wary of any claims company or alleged advisors asking for any monies whatsoever. Huntingdonshire District Council would never employ any company to cold call customers, and certainly not at the same time seek this type of commission. The council has previously warned of similar cold calls to business ratepayers offering to get them small business rate relief or retail rate relief. These reliefs can be applied for, free of charge, direct from the council, and with simple online applications on the business rates pages of the councils website. For more free advice on these reliefs, ratepayers are encouraged to call the local taxation helpline on 01480 388030.