The rise in the number of people claiming benefits has unfortunately prompted growing numbers of fraudsters to try and part people from their cash at a time when they really need financial help.
For example, recent scams include fraudsters contacting people through ‘friends’ Facebook accounts saying they have won a ‘direct grant promotion’ from Turn2us, even though the charity does not award prize money.
The scammers hack into Facebook profiles and message the person’s friends saying they’ve been randomly selected to be a winner.
If you receive any suspicious emails or are contacted via Facebook by anyone claiming they are offering free cash or help with benefits, get in touch with the organisation in question via a Google or Bing search (definitely don’t click on any links in suspicious messages) and check whether they have contacted you. If they haven’t, report the scam to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
You should also report what’s happened to the Financial Conduct Authority either online or by telephoning 0800 111 6768 and contact your bank immediately if you’ve handed over any payment details. Remember that you should never pay anyone to help you claim benefits.
Find out more about scams in our article Types of scam and how to avoid them.