A scam is circulating on Social Media sites, such as Facebook and Snap Chat, which promotes the chance to claim cash back on direct debits.
Victims are asked to pass on their bank account details to the scammer who then contact their bank and ask to cancel an existing direct debit and claim back monies already paid. These direct debits are typically for housing rent and other household bills.
Through this process, the scammer gains the victim’s bank details and takes a fee of 50% or more for their ‘service’ and tenants who fall victim to the scam are left in arrears with rent payments. What’s worse is that, as this is an illegal direct debit reclaim, the victim could potentially face a criminal prosecution as an accomplice to fraud and will be asked to return all the money in full.
Richard Haddock, Trivallis’ Money Advice Team Manager, said: “We have had tenants who have fallen victim to this scam, which claims to be a quick and easy way to claim money back from your bank with no consequences. This is not the case and, if it happens to you, you may not notice how much it can impact you until a request to return the full amount of money is made by your landlord or utilities provider, or when contact is made by the Police as part of a criminal investigation.
“Never pass your bank details over to a stranger or an untrusted source and always reach out to us if you are struggling to pay your rent, we are here to support you.”
If you believe you are a victim of this scam, contact the Police Fraud Action Team on 0300 123 2040 or visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
For more information on how Trivallis’ Money Advice Team can support you, visit: www.trivallis.co.uk/money-advice-team and contact us.