Scams increase during the festive season so read on for our top tips to stay safe this Christmas.
Cost of Living Scams
Criminals can send fake offers of support payments. Government support payments are usually automatic and don’t ask for your bank details.
Bargains which are not Bargains
Fake goods can appear on auction sites, so always pay through a third party such as PayPal, or use a credit card.
Popular household items, such as air fryers, are currently being used to draw in victims. Big brands are warning of fake websites which are selling their products at a heavily discounted rate. Beware of extremely generous deals as they are often too good to be true.
Energy Rebate Scams
There has been an increase in fake text messages and emails claiming to be from GOVUK and Ofgem, which say the recipient is eligible for a government-funded energy rebate. The message will ask the recipient to visit a web link, which is designed to steal personal and financial information.
If you receive a message that you believe to be a scam, contact the organisation directly from the details on their official website. Do not contact the number or email that has been provided in the message.
Remember, your bank will never ask you to supply personal information by email or text. Your monthly energy discount will be applied directly to your bill, and runs until March 2023.
Report scams to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or for further information visit www.stockton.gov.uk/scams