Posted: Thu 21st Apr 2022

£150 cost-of-living payment – Don’t be fooled by scammers calling for bank details

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Apr 21st, 2022


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Flintshire council has confirmed the date when eligible households can expect to receive the £150 payment cost-of-living payment announced by the Welsh government in February.

The payment is to support residents dealing with the impact of spiralling energy costs, but there are reports of scammers targeting households.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils across Wales and England is warning that criminals are cold calling residents asking for bank details in order for them to receive the £150 payment.

Residents are being reminded that the council will not ask for bank details over the phone.

All households who pay council tax by direct debit will receive the payment directly into their bank account and anyone who does not pay their council tax by direct debit will be sent a letter with details of how to claim.

Anyone who unexpectedly receives a text, email or phone call seeking information or payment should refrain from giving out personal information, including bank details, clicking any links or responding until they can be sure it is genuine.

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Vice-Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“Councils are working hard to ensure eligible residents receive their energy payments as soon as possible, however criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to take advantage of the financial worries people are facing and as a result many of these scams look legitimate on first impression.”

“Anyone can fall victim to a scam, and we urge people of all ages to brush up on the tell-tale signs, and the support available to those who need it.”

On the payment date, a Flintshire council spokesperson said: “The £150 will be a direct payment to households and is not a rebate on council tax bills.”

“There will be one payment for each eligible household.”

“Residents who pay their council tax by direct debit should automatically receive the £150 paid directly into their bank account by Wednesday 27th April. ”

“Households in the qualifying property bands but who don’t pay their council tax by direct debit, or have no council tax to pay, will also receive a letter from the Council with details of how they can register for the £150 payment.”

“We expect households will start to receive letters from 27 April.”

David Barnes, Revenues Manager for Flintshire council said “We are working to ensure the £150 payments are credited to bank accounts as soon as possible.

“Most households will receive their payment automatically where we already hold bank details, but where we don’t hold these details, we will be writing to eligible households to register for this payment by asking residents to use a secure and simple on-line registration form.”

“Households need to be data security conscious and we are urging households to be mindful of emails, texts or unexpected phone calls from suspicious sources offering information on the scheme, as this could from someone who is trying to steal personal information, including bank account details.”

If households have any questions, residents can always contact the Council on 01352 704848.”

Tell-tale signs that something could be a scam include: 

  • It seems too good to be true – a discount or offer much better than you’d expect
  • Spelling or grammar errors; strange punctuation and lots of capital letters can be signs that a message is fraudulent.
  • You’ve been asked to do something quickly or have missed a deadline and could be punished

“If you get sent a message that you believe to be fraudulent, you can report it to your mobile phone provider or by forwarding the message to 7726, a free reporting service provided by phone operators. You should also report the scam to Action Fraud to help others avoid falling victim in the future.”

 

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