Caterham & District

Money advice

General advice
Many members of our Money Matters Group find the Money Saving Expert website, founded by Martin Lewis, is a very useful source of information on a wide variety of personal finance matters. You can subscribe to a weekly email to keep up to date with money news.
Savings Champion is another useful website for tor finding the best interest rates on various savings accounts. They also produce a weekly email to keep you up to date with the savings market.

For news on current scams you can try Action Fraud or Surrey County Council Trading Standards.
Citizens Advice provide useful useful information about scams and your bank or credit card supplier will probably have advice available on how to keep your bank account and plastic cards safe.
Here are some recent scams to be aware of ...

NHS Scam
Surrey Trading Standards Scams Team received a report last month of a scam involving a cold call with a follow-up home visit. A lady advising that she was from an NHS approved company phoned Mr X and advised him that they were carrying out a survey on elderly care and requirements. Mr X, who is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, was awaiting an appointment and assumed that the call was regarding this. He continued to discuss his issues and medication and the lady suggested that it might be more pertinent to have a face to face meeting, to which Mr X agreed.

A man arrived at the agreed time and proceeded to take notes of Mr X’s medication from his prescription and as a result saw date of birth. Mr X was then asked how his illness affects his sleep as prostate issues can often cause sleep disruption. After Mr X shared his struggles regarding this, he was advised that he was authorised to purchase a new NHS mattress at the reduced cost of £14,000, instead of the usual £18,000. The gentleman said that he unfortunately didn’t have this type of money. The visitor then left. Mr X’s daughter then phoned Mr X’s GP who advised her that nobody from the NHS had been in contact, and that the caller was a cold caller attempting to scam Mr X out of his money.

Never assume everyone is genuine, always ask a friend or neighbour for a second opinion. Never be rushed into making hasty decisions, genuine companies will never rush you.
Most of the alerts given in these items are received from Surrey and Metropolitan Police or from Surrey or Croydon Trading Standards. However the following two are from three members of the Money Matter Group.

HMRC Scam
A few weeks ago two of our members received different emails purporting to come from HM Revenue and Customs stating that their income tax had been recalculated and that they were eligible to receive refunds of £452 and £480 respectively. The emails then supplied a link to click and arrange the refund. Fortunately they both remembered reading about HMRC scams in a Newsletter some months ago and promptly deleted the emails.

Doorstep Scam
One of our members noticed the following warning in a recent edition of 'Next Door'
Be warned, there is a group going to homes and pretending to be officials from home affairs. They have documents with the letterhead Department of Home Affairs and claim to be confirming that everyone has a valid ID for the upcoming census.
They are robbing homes. Take note there is no initiative like that from the government. They are everywhere and they look presentable. Please alert your family and friends.