The Little Book of Big Scams

Alongside the weekly scams news alert, the latest edition of the The Little Book of BIG Scams is now available to download  from West Yorkshire Trading Standards website

What are the most prevalent scams? How to spot them and stay safe!

Originally written by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Cyber Crime Unit, and reproduced with their kind permission, the book provides a comprehensive break down of the different types of scams and frauds. It also gives hints and tips about how someone can reduce their chances or those of a loved one, of being a victim and what to do if they do are targeted by criminals.

Changes to free TV Licences

TV Licensing logo

I’m sure you will have heard the news that free TV licences for all those aged 75 or over will come to an end on 1st August.  This was initially going to happen on 1st June this year but was extended due to lockdown.

This means that you won’t automatically be entitled to free TV licence once you reach the age of 75.  If you receive Pension Credit you will still be able to apply for a free TV licence.

You should be entitled to Pension Credit if you have income of less than £173.75 for a single person or £265.20 for a couple. Benefits checkers such as Turn2us can help you work out if you are entitled to this or other benefits.  If you think you eligible and don’t already receive it you can apply online at gov.uk Pension Credit or on the Pension Credit Claim Line 0800 99 1234.

If you already have a free over 75 licence you will be covered until 31 July 2020. You don’t need to do anything just yet. TV licensing will be writing to all free over 75 licence holders soon to let you know how you may be affected and what you will need to do next.  You do not need to make any payments until you have received this letter.

If you do need to pay for your licence after August, please take extra care to make sure you are paying the correct people.  There are a number of scams circulating around TV licence payments and these are likely to increase at this time.  There is some useful information about avoiding and reporting TV Licence scams on their website here

If you are 75 and get Pension Credit, you won’t get your free licence automatically, you will need to apply for it.  You can apply now if you wish but TV licensing say  there is plenty of time and you don’t have to rush to do it.

More information about all of the changes, including how to apply for a free licence is on The TV Licensing website.  It should also be in the letter they send to you.

If you want some help or advice  about applying for a free TV Licence or about Pension Credit  (or both), please contact Valerie at Caring Together and we can work through it together to see what you are entitled to and to help you apply

 

Cash machine scam – warning to be vigilant

West Yorkshire Police are asking residents of Headingley and Hyde Park to be vigilant when the withdrawing cash from local ATM machines. Four camera devices have been found in the past few weeks attached to ATM machines in these  areas. These carefully disguised devices are fixed above the cash machines and video record users inputting codes into the machine through a pin hole camera. This information is later used to defraud the customer. West Yorkshire Police are investigating these incidents and ask for any suspicious devices or behaviour around cash machines to be reported to us immediately.

University PC Mark Bottomley gives the following advice:

Always cover the keypad when entering your PIN with your hand.

If you notice anything unusual, odd or different about the machine or there are signs of tampering; do not use it, report it to the bank immediately and don’t let others use the machine.

If your cash or cards get trapped within the machine, report it to the bank immediately.

Stand close to the machine to avoid prying eyes over your shoulder and challenge anyone stood too close to you.

Don’t let any strangers distract you when at the ATM.

Always put your cash and card away before leaving the cash machine and never leave a receipt behind.

Finally always check your bank statements, fraudsters often will use low value transactions in an attempt to hide their thefts over a long period of time. Immediately notify your card company if something appears wrong.”

Red Nose Day – and a thank you from us!

comic_relief_logo

Today is Red Nose Day – the major fundraising event for Comic Relief.

Since its launch in 1988, Red Nose Day has become something of a British institution. It’s the day, every two years, when people across the land can get together and do something funny for money at home, school and work.

There’s a fantastic night of TV on the BBC, with comedy and entertainment to inspire the nation to give generously.

Comic Relief spends the money raised by Red Nose Day to help people living tough lives across the UK and Africa.

Here at Caring Together we have been fortunate enough to receive funding from Comic Relief on several occasions over the years and we have been very grateful for this support that has helped us with various aspects of our work with older people in Woodhouse & Little London.

So today, we would like to say a big thank you and wish them well with today’s fundraising

Pay as You Feel at Woodhouse tomorrow

6-bigThe Pay as You Feel Cafe is at Woodhouse Community Centre again tomorrow.  From lunchtime onwards.

Come along for a nice meal – we don’t know what it will be but it’s sure to be delicious! The cost is very reasonable as it is whatever you feel you can pay.

Also today at the Pay as You Feel Cafe in Armley there will be a Knit & Natter group at 4.30pm and a ‘Waste Food Feast’ from 7pm.  Details on their Facebook page

Dealing with Debt

moneyDebt is a major issue for many older people. This may be because of helping children and grandchildren financially, divorce or separation, or simply the rising cost of living, particularly in terms of food and energy costs.

For many people debt can be a cause of, or add to, terrible feelings of anxiety and depression, ill health and family breakdown as people feel trapped, and can affect lives very badly.

If you are in debt it’s very important not to ignore it. If you leave it, it will get worse. But you can get help – there is a lot of free support available both locally and further afield. With the right help you will be able to look at the following issues:

  • Which are the most important debts to pay (priority debts)
  • Whether you have any ‘debts’ that you shouldn’t be paying at all. (Perhaps you were pressurised into signing a loan agreement).
  • What could you afford to pay? (People you owe money to may have to accept a lot less than they are demanding).
  • How to make the most of any savings you have.
  • Whether you can raise money in any other way.

You don’t have to tackle debt alone – you can get help.  Talk to Caring Together – we can help you look at your income and benefits etc to help make sure you are getting all the money you are entitled to, or refer you for further benefits advice if needed.  We can also help you look at your outgoings and advise you, or refer you to the WYTS Safer project advisor, who has helped a number of our members.

Joining a credit union is a good way of saving and borrowing money without running up massive debts – Leeds Credit Union 0113 242 3343

Other help and advice:

National Debtline  0808 808 4000

StepChange Debt Charity  0800 138 1111

Money Advice Service  0300 500 5000

Debt Advice Foundation  0800 043 4050

Leeds CAB 0844 477 4788