Warning to Wigan residents as scammers target cost-of-living payments

A Wigan organisation has welcomed the financial support being offered to help with the cost-of-living crisis – but has urged people to beware of scammers.

More than eight million people nationally on means-tested benefits will receive £650 this year, paid in two instalments.

People receiving a qualifying benefit – unless they are in receipt of tax credits – should have received the first payment of £326 last month.

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Qualifying Wigan households are to receive cost of living payments

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The second payment of £324 is expected to be made by the end of September, and in winter for those receiving tax credits only.

Lisa Kidston, chief officer of Citizens Advice Wigan Borough, said: “We’re pleased that the Government’s latest support will begin to go some way towards helping the residents who are struggling amidst the cost-of-living crisis.

"At Citizens Advice, we’ve already helped hundreds of residents struggling with rising costs and demand for our services is only expected to increase over the coming months.

“Those eligible for the cost-of-living payment should also remain wary of scammers trying to exploit those who are struggling financially.

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"They may do this by offering false cost-of-living payments with the intention of stealing personal and private information.

“We are urging residents to be extra cautious and think twice before giving out any personal details.

"You can report a scam on the Citizens Advice website or speak to us for advice if you are unsure about anything.”

Qualifying benefits are: universal credit, income-based jobseekers’ allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, pension credit, working tax credit and child tax credit.

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To get the first instalment, people must have been entitled to a payment for any day from April 26 to May 25.

They will be paid automatically, so people do not need to apply for them.

If someone thinks they should have received the first payment but did not, they should contact the GOV.UK website.

For more information on what Government support is available for households struggling financially during the cost-of-living crisis, and how to prepare for the coming winter months along with rising costs, then visit the overall Government support page on the Gov.UK website.