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Cost of living scams

Please be aware of criminals who are preying on people worried about the cost of living crisis via cold calls, emails, texts and online ads.

Scammers may make false offers of energy refunds, energy discounts, tax rebates, cost-of-living payments and food vouchers to steal your personal or banking details.

How to protect yourself

  • If you have any doubts about a message claiming to be from an organisation, contact the organisation directly - do not reply to the message
  • Don’t use the numbers or address in the message – use details from their official website. Remember, your bank (or any other official source) will never ask you to supply personal information via email or text.
  • If you have received an email that you’re not quite sure about, forward it to
  • Follow the ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ advice:
    • Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information.
    • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
    • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

How to report a scam 

  • You can report scams to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, using the Citizens Advice online reporting form or by calling 0808 223 1133 (freephone).
  • You can report a scam to Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office, using their online fraud reporting tool or by calling 0300 123 2040.
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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.