The rising cost of living is causing concern for many individuals. Every year, the expense of food, transportation, and housing appears. People may struggle to make ends meet because of this. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers that prey on those who are unable to pay their expenses.
With the UK cost of fraud approximately surpassing £137 billion in 2021, customers will be apprehensive of rising fraud costs in 2022, especially as the cost-of-living issue reaches new heights.
The Rising Cost Of Living And How It’s Affecting Uk Families
The cost of living in the UK has been gradually growing in recent years, which has a significant impact on families throughout the country. One of the primary drivers of this surge is housing expenses, which have grown by 10% on average since 2019.
Food, clothes, and utilities are other commodities that have become more expensive. The rising cost of living pushes many families to make tough decisions, such as cutting out on basics or incurring additional debt. It can even lead to homelessness in extreme situations.
Top 3 Existing Cost of Living Scams
There are many scams targeting people who are struggling to make ends meet. Here are three of the most common ones:
Retail Discount Scam
This scam operates by providing a significant discount on a popular retail item, such as a television or jewellery. The victim is then sent to a website where they are asked for personal and financial information. Scammers use this information to make unlawful transactions or remove funds from the victim’s bank account.
This fraud is challenging to detect since the websites involved frequently appear authentic at first sight. However, there are a few red signs that one should know, such as misspellings and grammatical problems and generic photos copied from other websites.
If you have doubts about a website, it is recommended to err on caution and not provide personal information. Businesses need to regularly use domain name monitoring tools to check if their website has been involved in fraudulent activity in the past.
The Energy Company Scam
Because of the growing energy cost, fraudsters contact people regarding energy discount deals and refunds. This scam offers free or highly cheap energy, frequently followed by a phone call or a door-to-door sales presentation. In certain circumstances, the scammers will pose as representatives of a reputable energy company and may even offer fake identification.
They may also offer to install new energy-saving technologies such as solar panels or insulation in your house. Once they have gained your trust, they will request your bank information or payment in advance.
Be careful if you receive an unsolicited offer from an energy business. Do not provide personal information or make payments until you have confirmed the company’s legitimacy.
Local Government Scam
The expense of living is growing at an alarming rate, as has been extensively documented. As a result, many local governments have created several initiatives to assist individuals in dealing with the financial issues provided by inflation.
Fraudsters use this opportunity to scam individuals by purporting to be from the government and asking for your bank information so they may offer you a refund. Don’t click on any links if they text or email you. Councils will never phone or email you asking for your bank account information. Individuals may avoid becoming victims of this costly scam by being vigilant.
What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed
To begin, notify your bank or financial institution of the situation. They may be able to cancel any previous payments and reimburse your money. You should also report the crime to the police. Include as much information as possible, such as the name and contact information of the individual who scammed you.
Finally, you can contact Action Fraud, the United Kingdom’s official fraud reporting centre. They will offer more guidance and support. By following these precautions, you may help to keep yourself and others safe from fraud.
The cost of fraud has risen over the past few years and so too now is the cost of living scams that exist. You must understand how to protect yourself and lower your chances of becoming a victim by being aware of the most frequent living scams and taking action to protect your personal information.