Millions more households targeted by scams as cost of living crisis bites
Millions more people have been targeted by scammers as the cost-of-living crisis takes hold, research suggests.
More than three quarters of UK adults said they have been targeted by a scammer this year – a 14% increase on this time last year, Citizens Advice found.
The most common types of scams reported included deliveries, postal or courier services (55%), someone pretending to be from the government or HMRC (41%), someone offering a fake investment or financial ‘get rich quick’ schemes (29%), rebates and refunds (28%), banking (27%), online shopping (24%), health or medical (13%) or energy scams (12%).
Ahead of households receiving financial payments to help with the cost of living, Citizens Advice warned that it had seen a range of associated scams, including emails claiming to be from Ofgem asking people to enter their bank details to get the £400 energy rebate.
Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said: “We know scammers prey on our worries and fears and the cost of living crisis is no exception.
“Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s more important than ever we recognise the red flags.
“By reporting scams and sharing our own experiences, we can work together to protect ourselves and each other.”
Wendy Martin, the director of National Trading Standards, said: “Criminals are exploiting people’s worries as household bills rise. Consumers are being put under increasing pressure from a wave of scam emails and cold calls from imposters pretending to be from councils or energy companies.
“We urge people never to give bank details or other personal information to anyone who contacts them out of the blue as legitimate organisations would never put you on the spot in this way.
“We want as many people as possible to be aware of these scams so they can protect themselves and their families. Scams should always be reported so we can catch the criminals, and everyone can arm themselves with the information they need to stay safe by taking part in our free Friends Against Scams awareness training at friends against scams.org.uk.”Published: by Radio NewsHub