DWP warning as cost of living payment scam hits Britons – ‘do not click!’ | Personal Finance | Finance


The cost of living is creating chaos for millions of people, as prices and bills soar. As a result, the Government is issuing various methods of support, including cost of living payments.

However, scammers are sadly taking advantage of the uncertainty in this challenging time to cruelly target unsuspecting individuals. 

The scam is preying on Britons’ desperation and current financial hardship by offering them a supposed grant to help.

The email concerned uses the official Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) logo, despite having no association with the official Government department.

It tells individuals they are eligible for a cost of living payment, but must take action.

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However, the email is simply a scam and a ruse designed by criminals to get people to part with their details.

Unsuspecting individuals could then have their information used nefariously, or sold on the dark web to other criminals – with potentially devastating consequences.

As a result, individuals have been warned to be extremely vigilant, especially if they are looking out for a legitimate cost of living payment from the DWP. 

Dr Kiri Addison, Head of Data Scientist for Three Intelligence and Overwatch at Mimecast, spoke to Express.co.uk about the scam.

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She said: “It is no surprise to see cybercriminals using the cost-of-living crisis to their advantage and attempting to steal personal information from the public. 

“Our researchers found an example of a scam targeting people and claiming to be from the DWP last week, with over 5,000 examples. 

“These criminals are preying on the desperation that exists amongst many people that are currently struggling to pay bills at the moment, as well as using the confusion of the new Government laying out its legislative agenda.”

Dr Addison explained scammers are often malleable when it comes to their approach.

Many will keep an eye on current events in the media to see how they can incorporate these in their attacks. 

It will all be part of their attempts to lure people – especially those who are vulnerable – into clicking malicious links within emails.

Cybercriminals have adapted their tactics to many recent events, including the outbreak of monkeypox and the pandemic.

The most common medium for scams to take place is via email, so people should always be on their guard when logging into their account.

Dr Addison continued: “The public is obviously aware that there is much debate around grants for those in financial difficulty currently, which could lead to them thinking this correspondence is genuine. 

“The UK public need to be aware of these scams and it is vital that they do not engage with electronic communication in relation to monies via email. Certainly do not click on any links in any related message.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said people do not need to apply for a cost of living payment – and will be paid automatically if they are eligible.

Its website states: “If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.”

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