New analysis by Citizens Advice has found that millions extra folks have been focused by fraudsters as the associated fee of dwelling disaster continues to put the squeeze on family funds.

The charity discovered that greater than three quarters of UK adults stated they’ve been focused by a scammer this 12 months – a 14 per cent improve over the identical interval final 12 months.

The most typical sorts of scams reported included deliveries, postal or courier companies (55%), somebody pretending to be from the UK authorities or HM Revenue and Customs (41%), somebody providing a faux funding or financial ‘get wealthy fast’ schemes (29%), rebates and refunds (28%), banking (27%), on-line purchasing (24%), well being or medical (13%) or vitality scams (12%).

Ahead of households receiving financial funds to assist with the associated fee of dwelling, Citizens Advice warned that it had seen a spread of related scams, together with emails claiming to be from Ofgem asking folks to enter their financial institution particulars to get the £400 vitality grant.

Citizens Advice chief govt Dame Clare Moriarty stated: “We know scammers prey on our worries and fears and the associated fee of dwelling disaster is not any exception. Anyone might be focused by a rip-off, and because the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it is extra necessary than ever we recognise the purple flags.

“By reporting scams and sharing our personal experiences, we are able to work collectively to defend ourselves and one another.”

Wendy Martin, the director of National Trading Standards, stated: “Criminals are exploiting folks’s worries as family payments rise. Consumers are being put below rising stress from a wave of rip-off emails and chilly calls from imposters pretending to be from councils or vitality corporations.

“We urge folks by no means to give financial institution particulars or different private info to anybody who contacts them out of the blue as reputable organisations would by no means put you on the spot on this means.

“We need as many individuals as potential to bear in mind of these scams to allow them to defend themselves and their households. Scams ought to at all times be reported so we are able to catch the criminals, and everybody can arm themselves with the knowledge they want to keep protected by participating in our free Friends Against Scams consciousness coaching at mates in opposition to scams.org.uk.”

Below are key dates and qualifying standards for the three totally different one-off funds and £400 energy discount for home customers – no one wants to apply for any of the brand new support, they may all be paid robotically.

July and autumn

£650 one-off fee for folks on means-tested advantages

The ‘Cost of Living Payment’ of £650 will likely be made in two instalments for households on means-tested advantages.

People on these advantages will obtain the funds:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make the fee in two lump sums – the primary from July and the second within the autumn.

Payments from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for these on Tax Credits solely will observe shortly after every to keep away from duplicate funds.

How to qualify for the fee:

  • To be eligible for the primary of the 2 instalments claimants will want to be in receipt of one of the advantages listed above, or have began a declare which is later profitable, as of Wednesday May 25, 2022

HMRC and DWP are due to launch additional steering and the UK Government will set out the eligibility date for the second instalment, in the end.

Other key factors in regards to the fee:

  • This fee will likely be tax-free
  • It won’t depend in direction of the profit cap
  • It won’t have any affect on current profit awards

How will funds be made:

  • Directly to households throughout the UK

September

£150 one-off fee for folks on incapacity advantages

The £150 ‘Disability Cost of Living Payment’ will likely be paid to folks on incapacity advantages in September.

People on these advantages will obtain the fee:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Adult Disability Payment (Scotland solely)
  • Child Disability Payment (Scotland solely)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

How to qualify for the fee:

  • To be eligible for the £150 one-off fee, claimants have to be in receipt of the advantages listed above, or have began an ultimately profitable declare for one of these advantages as of May 25, 2022

Other key factors in regards to the fee:

  • Disability profit claimants who additionally obtain means-tested advantages, will get the £150 on prime of the £650, however they are going to be paid individually
  • Payments will likely be exempt from tax
  • They won’t depend in direction of the profit cap
  • Payments won’t have any affect on current profit awards

How will funds be made:

  • Payments will go instantly to eligible folks throughout the UK


Scammers could attempt to trick you into handing over your financial institution particulars so as to get Cost of Living Payments

October

£400 low cost off vitality payments

The UK Government can pay the £400 instantly to vitality suppliers who will ship this support to households with a home electrical energy meter over six months from October.

Direct debit and credit score clients can have the cash credited to their account, whereas clients with pre-payment meters can have the cash utilized to their meter or paid by way of a voucher – it will depend upon whether or not they have a sensible meter or not.

Who qualifies for the £400 vitality invoice grant:

  • Domestic vitality customers in Scotland, England and Wales – equal support will likely be delivered to folks in Northern Ireland

Other key factors in regards to the fee:

  • The £400 doesn’t want to be repaid
  • This support is on prime of the £150 Council Tax rebate for households in bands A-D (and with a discount in Scotland), which was introduced in February, and which millions of households have already acquired

How will fee be made:

  • Directly to vitality suppliers – you don’t want to apply for it

November/December

£300 one-off fee for folks of State Pension age

All eligible pensioner households will get the one-off ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’ as a top-up to their annual Winter Fuel Payment in November/December.

Who qualifies for the £300 ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’:

  • People will likely be eligible for this fee if they’re over State Pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19-25 September 2022 and in receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment

Other key factors in regards to the fee:

  • The £300 will likely be paid on prime of another one-off support a pensioner family is entitled to, for instance the place they’re on Pension Credit or obtain incapacity advantages
  • The fee isn’t taxable
  • The fee doesn’t have an effect on eligibility for different advantages

Who doesn’t qualify?

  • There are sure circumstances the place a person above State Pension age doesn’t qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment which might be discovered on GOV.UK, here

How will funds be made:

  • Directly to households throughout the UK

You can learn detailed examples of how the extra support packages will have an effect on differing types of households on he GOV.UK web site here.

Latest Cost Of Living News

Where to get assist and recommendation

If you might be uncertain if you happen to qualify for a one-off fee, or have a combined family, search skilled recommendation from a non-profit organisation resembling Citizens Advice, Advice Direct Scotland, Christians Against Poverty, Turn2Us and StepChange.

To sustain to date with the associated fee of dwelling disaster, be a part of our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, observe Record Money on Twitter here, or subscribe to our twice weekly publication here.



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