The cost of living crisis has seen the likes of shopping and energy bills rise with people trying to cut back on expenses in a bid to save money.
However whilst many people try and cut back on what they usually spend, scammers are using this as a way to take advantage of those in a less fortunate financial situation.
It comes as Scottish students have also been warned of scams in circulation as new term begins with many university and college students heading back into education.
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Experts are warning that not only are university scams on the rise but so to are mobile phone scams. Some of which could cost you £1,000.
According to one networks customer service forum, people received phone calls from scammers in August, claiming to offer a 40 per cent discount. The scammers claimed to work for the mobile network where the fraudster said a code would be sent and she would have to repeat it back to them over the phone.
However this code was in fact needed to access her account giving scammers what they wanted. Thankfully the scammers were stopped however had they not been, they could have lost out on a grand with them trying to purchase the latest iPhone.
Mitchell Baxter, personal finance expert guru from Vouchers.co.uk discussed the ongoing scams saying: “With the cost of living crisis putting millions of Brits out of pocket, more are likely to fall for circulating scams that are aiming to exploit the vulnerable.”
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“The best advice we can give is if the offer seems too good to be true, it usually is. To check an offer’s authenticity, close down the application whether it be a call or a text and access the relevant account on a different device. If your offer is valid, the customer service team at whichever business will be able to verify this or confirm if it’s a scam.”
So what other scams should you look out for. Here’s what the financial experts at Vouchers.co.uk had to say.
1. Fake cost of living payment texts that empty your bank account
Given cost of living payments are due to be applied to energy bill accounts, criminals are sending texts, claiming to be from Ofgem and requesting people to apply for their £400 rebate.
Victims would do so by clicking on a link, entering their bank details and potentially losing the contents of their bank balance.
The real rebate is being paid directly to energy suppliers by central government, and can only be accessed as a reduction to your energy bills over a six month period.
2. Facebook Marketplace scammers charging drivers up to £1,500
Those looking to cut vehicle costs could be opting for purchasing a bargain motor on social media. However, Vouchers.co.uk warns drivers to be vigilant – as car scammers offering vehicles at too-good-to-be-true prices would then go on to pressure motorists to send deposit money to ‘hold the car’ before you buy.
In some cases, the car will either not exist or not be legitimately for sale. After you’ve paid the holding fee, which could be up to £1,500, the ad would disappear resulting in a loss of money.
3. Royal Mail scams that could cost you £300
Some criminals are posing as delivery companies and requesting additional payment for delivery. If expecting a delivery, it seems quite likely for Brits to fall for a seemingly innocent text message from Amazon or Royal Mail.
One victim told The Guardian that she was expecting an import charge, clicked on the link in the text from the delivery company and completed the form. Next, £300 was taken from her bank account and the victim spotted that the criminals had rapidly used the money to purchase themselves an electric scooter.
4. Food voucher scams gain access to personal information
Circulating email vouchers from supermarket chains claim to be offering shoppers £45 off their next grocery shop. The email contains a link, directing to an official looking phishing website designed to steal login credentials and purchase information.
Criminals could then go on to make a purchase on a victim’s behalf using their private information.
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