As people continue to struggle with the cost of living crisis, there are increasing reports of scams which are trying to exploit the crisis. Examples of these scams include emails and text messages which include the promise of energy rebates and government grants encouraging people to apply for “a cost of living payment”, mimicking genuine support packages.
Action Fraud have released guidance tips on how to protect yourself and others against scams:
• If you have any doubts about a message, contact the organisation directly
• Don’t use the numbers or address in the message – use the details from their official website. Remember, banks (or any other official source) will never ask for personal information via email
• If you (or someone who you are supporting) has received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to email@example.com. Report emails that feel suspicious, even if you’re not certain they’re a scam – Action Fraud can check
• Follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud advice:
o STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with money or information
o CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic someone
o PROTECT: Encourage people to contact their bank immediately if you think they’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud
Accurate information about support schemes can be found on the Cost of Living Payment – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) webpage.