Cost of Living Crisis Scams – Epsom and Ewell’s Citizen Advice Bureau can help:

Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell (CAEE) is joining Scams Awareness Fortnight 2022, a national campaign to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of economic fraud. CAEE advisers are helping an increasing number of people who have been targeted by a scammer just as the cost-of-living crisis takes hold. Types of scam include ID theft, unpaid tax claim, online sale and delivery and stolen tenancy deposit.

For information on the genuine types of help available and how you’ll receive it, see this Citizens Advice page if youre struggling with living costs and this page for Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills.

Lisa Davis, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell, said: “We know scammers prey on our worries and fears, sadly the cost-of-living crisis is no exception. We’re asking everyone to help spread the message that scams are crimes that can happen to anyone. Fraudsters always find ways of exploiting difficult times and the cost of living crisis is making many more people vulnerable. Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s important we work together to protect ourselves and each other.”

To stop more people from falling victim to these types of scams, Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell is sharing five top tips to help you guard against a potential scam:

● It seems too good to be true – for example, scammers pretending to be energy

companies to lure people into “too good to be true” deals

● You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company or a genuine person – take a

moment to step back and double-check

● You’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly

● You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – like by an iTunes vouchers or a transfer service

● You’ve been asked to give away personal information such as passwords, PINs or other verification codes.

If you’ve been scammed, Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell advises:

● Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment

● Report the scam to Citizens Advice. Offline scams, like those using the telephone, post and coming to your door, can be reported to the Citizens Advice website or by calling 0808 223 1133. Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either online or on 0808 250 5050

● Text scams can be reported to your mobile phone provider by forwarding it to 7726

● Also report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Last year, Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell helped more than 2,800 people with over 7,600 issues relating to benefits, debt, housing, employment, relationships, neighbour disputes, discrimination, probate, care costs, winter fuel payments, student loans and consumer issues. We have a team of 50 volunteers whose skills, experience and commitment deliver our services, including mental health, money advice and tribunal teams.

Their work has become all the more important recently after the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis and would not be possible without the unfailing support of the local community. CAEE sits at the heart of this community – here for everyone with a listening ear and a friendly face ready to help with whatever the problem, confidential, impartial and all for free.

Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell (CAEE) is a small, local charity offering free advice and information for all who live, work and study in the borough of Epsom and Ewell. All adviceis free, confidential, impartial and independent.

However, this service comes at a cost – on average £60 for each person they help and although they have funding from Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and other local partners, they must raise a significant sum in order to operate. They ask for support for their work. Just £5 per month could enable one client in need this year.

www.caee.org.uk/donate/ or connect with us on Twitter @CAEpsomEwell.

To get in touch call the Adviceline on Freephone number 0808 278 7963 or visit the website

www.caee.org.uk

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