Scots have been urged to look out for scams as cost of living support payments of £300 start arriving in bank accounts.
Almost 700,000 households in Scotland will automatically receive the money, which is part of a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) package for those on means-tested benefits.
It is the second of three instalments that will eventually total £900.
The payments are made directly into recipients’ bank accounts, with no need to apply or do anything, meaning Scots should not respond to scam texts or emails asking people to fill out application forms.
Advice Direct Scotland, which runs the national consumeradvice.scot service, urged people to report any suspected scams to its scamwatch service, with the organisation able to then share this information with the authorities.
The service is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and specialist debt advisers will work with anyone in Scotland to assess their current situation, look at their income and outgoings, and consider what to do next.
The charity has dealt with more than £10m worth of debt in 2023, helping people with free, practical and impartial advice, and signposting sources of support.
Conor Forbes, director of policy with Advice Direct Scotland, said: “Hundreds of thousands of Scots households will start receiving the cost-of-living support payment, and it’s vital to remember that this will happen automatically.
“There is no application form to fill out for the money.
“Sadly, we know that scammers have repeatedly tried to capitalise on the cost-of-living crisis, so people should be alert to emails and texts asking for personal information in relation to the payments – the DWP will not do this.
“If you suspect a scam, use our free scamwatch tool at www.consumeradvice.scot.
“Moreover, for those concerned about their financial commitments, our specialist debt advisers can assess your situation and provide guidance on managing your income and expenses.
“You can reach out to Advice Direct Scotland’s moneyadvice.scot service at 0808 196 2316 for free information and support on various debt-related issues, as we are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.”
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