Protecting yourself against financial abuse
Sadly, cases of scams and financial abuse are on the rise. Lockdowns and the pandemic became the perfect breeding ground for criminals to take advantage. Here are some of the latest scams to keep an eye out for:
What is financial abuse?
If you’re not in control of your own finances, you may be a victim of financial abuse. Anyone can be subject to this abuse, not just those in long-term relationships. Other family members, like children or siblings, may attempt to take advantage.
Financial abuse can look like:
- Not having access to your own bank account.
- Others closely watching what you spend your money on, demanding receipts afterwards.
- Applying for credit cards and loans using your details.
- Refusing to give you money for essentials, like food, clothing and medicine.
With services returning to some normality, there is a lot more support out there. If you think someone you know is a victim, see something – say something!
People have reported receiving emails from their energy company, allegedly offering a refund. It is a convincing email, but it is fake. Always contact your energy supplier if you’re unsure – and never click on any links if you think the email is suspect.
Council Tax rebate
Some residents have received phone calls and emails requesting their bank details so that the £150 rebate can be paid to them directly. Your council will never request your bank details this way. If in doubt, get in touch with your local authority to check.
Fake Ukraine fundraisers
Scammers have been inventive on how they can deceive donors. Be cautious when donating to an online fundraising page; fake ones are often poorly written or contain spelling mistakes.
If you think you have given out your personal information to someone who isn’t who they say they are, contact your bank immediately. You can report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Don’t get bitten by a loan shark
A loan shark is an unlicensed moneylender who often targets people who are struggling. They will offer to lend money with little or no paperwork, and can become threatening or violent if you can’t repay. Stop Loan Sharks have specially trained staff to provide you with emotional and practical support that is tailored to your needs. Visit stoploansharks.co.uk or call 0300 555 2222 for more advice.