Cost of Living, Fuel Poverty and Safeguarding
There are many ways that the rising cost of living can affect people’s health and wellbeing. Amongst many things, being unable to buy food for yourself or all your family, unable to heat your home, generate hot water or pay your bills increases the risk of abuse and neglect happening as well as health issues (including mental health). Below you will find local links and pathways to support.
Local guidance and information on Cost of Living issues can be found on your local councils’ website:
Isle of Wight Council Website
Hampshire and IOW Fire and Rescue Service Information
The following resources have been created by Hampshire and IOW Fire and Rescue service as part of their ‘5Cs cost of living campaign’
Switching to a better deal
Can you switch to a better deal? Use a comparison website or phone different energy suppliers to find out what you can save by switching. You can ask your supplier if they will match an offer if you find one that’s better elsewhere.
Information about switching and Ofgem-accredited price comparison websites can be found here: Switch supplier or energy tariff – Ofgem
Support for Housing Costs
District and borough councils will be supporting vulnerable households with exceptional housing costs, where existing housing support schemes do not meet need and for cases of genuine emergency. A provision for support of housing costs, in exceptional cases of genuine emergency where existing housing support schemes do not meet the need, and in cases of genuine emergency. District and borough councils will determine funding based on individual needs.
Keep Warm Keep Well
Hampshire County Council support with the cost of living.
Hitting the cold spots
Help for people struggling to keep their homes warm
This Connect to Support Page provides links to information and support around financial issues
Isle Find It: Help Through a Crisis – “Isle Find It” have some useful information about Help Through Crisis, and also offer free Debt Management advice. “Isle Find It” is the established Directory of Services and the largest and most accurate Community Directory on the Isle of Wight. “Isle find it” is designed and operated by Citizens Advice IOW, an independent local charity.
Friends Against Scams – Cost of Living Scams
With the cost of living crisis impacting people all over the UK, criminals are taking advantage of the financial hardship and government grants to scam people out of their hard earned money. For one in four (24%) UK adults, losing just £100 would tip them into serious financial crisis, unable to pay bills, buy food or buy other essentials. This page provides information on scams to look out for, what you can do to protect yourself, and how you can take a stand against scams.
Government Cost of Living Support
Find out what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel.
National Energy Action
From October, with the government’s price freeze in effect, National Energy Action predicts 6.7 million UK households will be in fuel poverty. It means they cannot afford to live in a warm, dry and safe home. National Energy Action is the national charity working to end fuel poverty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Age UK – Keeping well this winter
Changes to our bodies as we get older mean that cold weather and winter bugs affect us more than they used to. This webpage from Age UK provides tips on staying healthy through winter.
Fraud and SCAMs
You might be contacted with misleading or fraudulent offers designed to con you out of your money. These are received by post, email, social media messages, telephone, text or face-to-face. Advice is available about how to spot scams and frauds, to prevent yourself or someone you know becoming the victim of a scam or fraud and losing your money.
Action Fraud – Reporting Fraud and Cybercrime
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime. You can report this directly to Action Fraud either online or by telephone. Information and support is available on the Action Fraud website.
Action Fraud Amazon Prime scam
Action Fraud has warned that people are being targeted with automated calls which tell them that a fraudster has used their personal details to sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription. The victim is then instructed to press “1” to cancel the transaction. When they do this, they are directly connected to the real scammer who poses as an Amazon customer service representative. The criminal tells the victim that the Amazon Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw which will prevent it from happening again. The victim is instructed to download an application called Team Viewer and asked to log onto their online banking account. The software download grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer and allows them to see the victim’s personal and financial details. Other variants of the crime involve victims being told they are due a refund for an unauthorised transaction on their Amazon account. Action Fraud is reminding people to never install any software as a result of a cold call.
Romance fraud occurs when you think you’ve met the perfect partner online but they’re using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. You might meet them via an online dating website or app, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram or gaming sites. They gain your trust over a number of weeks or months and have you believe you’re in a loving and caring relationship. However, the criminal’s goal is only ever to get your money or personal information.
Between August 2019 and August 2020, 222 reports of romance fraud were made to Action Fraud by residents of Hampshire. The total reported loss in the same time period was £2million, equating to an average loss per victim of just over £9,000.
If you think you’ve been a victim of romance fraud or a romance-based scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via Action Fraud.
Hampshire Constabulary – Stay Safe from Fraud Guides
Hampshire Constabulary receives over 700 reports of fraud or attempted fraud each month. Many of these target elderly or vulnerable members of the community and the consequences can be extremely damaging, both financially and emotionally, for the victims. A number of useful guides, in particular for those vulnerable members of our communities, can be accessed on the Hampshire Constabulary website.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Alert
The communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight play a key role in helping to prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour. Improving the flow of information between the community and the police is vital to achieving their aim to work together to deter criminals and keep communities safe. The Hampshire Alert site provides an invitation for you to participate in the exchange of information with Hampshire Constabulary and Neighbourhood Watch. You don’t need to join a specific watch scheme but you might find that there are like-minded residents or businesses in your area which would welcome your support. If you live or work in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight, you are invited to register now to become a recipient of messages of information, crime alerts and witness appeals local to the area in which you live or work in a way that suits your needs and lifestyle by email, text or telephone. Just go to the Hampshire Alert website and click on the “Sign Up” button at the top of the page to sign up. Or if you live on the Isle of Wight, go to the Isle of Wight Alert website.
Ann Craft Trust – 3 Ways to Stay Safe Online
- Protect your passwords. Set a strong password and never share it with anyone. Use a combination of special characters, capital letters and numbers and aim to change your passwords every 90 days.
- Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do in real life. Be nice to people. Don’t get into arguments with strangers. Don’t share anything too private or personal.
- Be scam-aware. Never click links in dodgy emails. Understand that your bank or building society will never contact you by email asking for personal details or money transfers. And remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Download the Ann Craft Trust’s digital safeguarding resource pack here.
Explore the Ann Craft Trust’s introduction to digital safeguarding guide which explains what digital safeguarding is and provides tips and advice for staying safe online.
Do you know how to support young people who have been abused online? The Ann Craft Trust’s website has plenty of information about the support you can give.
Safeguarding, Young People and Virtual Delivery: Creating Safer Online Spaces. Find out more about safer online spaces on the Ann Craft Trust’s website.
How to Stay Safe Online – Guidance for Adults and Young People with Learning Disabilities. Read more about this on the Ann Craft Trust’s website.
Do you know how to spot the signs of digital scams? Learn more about these on the Ann Craft Trust’s website.
Listen to ACT’s latest podcast, Safeguarding in Esports with Fnatic.
What is cyber bullying? Discover more on the Ann Craft Trust’s website.
Friends Against Scams – Latest Scams
“Friends Against Scams” is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to take a stand against scams. “Friends Against Scams” is designed to inspire action, highlight the scale of the problem, change the perceptions of why people fall for scams and make scams a community, regional and national topic. It has a page dedicated to updating you on the latest scams. Visit the Friends Against Scams website where you can sign up to scam alerts.
Take Five Campaign to Stop Fraud
“Take Five” is a national campaign led by UK Finance and backed by Her Majesty’s Government. The campaign is being delivered with and through a range of partners in public and third sector organisations. It offers straightforward, impartial advice which helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud, particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations. Visit the Take Five Campaign website for information and advice on fraud and how to prevent it.
Number Spoofing Scams – OfCom advice
Many phone handsets now let you see the number of the person calling before you answer. This feature – known as “Caller ID” or “Calling Line Identity” (CLI) – is a handy way of screening the calls you want to answer from the ones you don’t. However, there have been growing instances of nuisance callers and criminals deliberately changing the Caller ID, a practice known as “spoofing”. They do this to either hide their identity or to try to mimic the number of a real company or person who has nothing to do with the real caller. For example, identity thieves who want to steal sensitive information such as your bank account or login details sometimes use spoofing to pretend they’re calling from your bank or credit card company. See more information and advice on how to protect yourself on the OfCom website.
Little Book of Big Scams
This guide provides advice for you, the public, to fight against the increasing number of scammers targeting you, your valuable information and your money. The Little Book of Big Scams – 5th Edition (met.police.uk)
Ways you can connect with us
Check out our social media on:
Twitter – @hsab_hampshire
Important telephone numbers
If you are worried about an adult, please telephone the correct number below for your area:
Hampshire Adult Services: 0300 555 1386 (out of hours: 0300 555 1373)
IOW Adult Social Care: 01983 814980
Portsmouth Adult Social Care: 02392 680810
Southampton Adult Social Care: 023 8083 3003
Police: 101 or in an emergency 999
For Deaf Access Text 999 or Emergency Minicom TextRelay on 18000 (You must be registered to use this service). For more options, click here.
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