Debt and fraud

Dealing with money issues can be sometimes be off-putting, but if you don't understand how things like credit or mortgages work, you could end up losing out financially or getting yourself in debt.

Uttlesford Citizens Advice can give you the information you need to make the right choices, including dealing with debts, how to avoid losing your home, and getting your finances back into shape.

Gamble aware

When money is tight, we know it can be hard to resist the lure of 'easy money'. But gambling is never the answer.

Gamble Aware offer free, confidential help and support to anyone who is worried about their (or someone else's) gambling 24/7. You can contact them via telephone or on their online chat service.

Loan sharks

A loan shark is someone who runs a money lending business without permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Loan Sharks often use intimidation and violence to get money from their 'clients'. If someone who has lent you money threatens you or is violent, contact the police straight away.

If you think a money lender is operating without being FCA authorised, you can speak in confidence to the Illegal Money Lending Hotline on 0300 555 2222.

You can also email the Illegal Money Lending Team at or text loan shark and your message to 60003.

Be scam aware

Scammers have been using the cost-ofliving crisis as a means of duping people into making payments and/or handing over their bank details, so make sure any communication you receive purporting to
be from from DWP, your energy supplier or any other organisation is legitimate.

Whilst energy suppliers may be reaching out to customers about discounts and savings, it is important to note that they will never ask for bank details.

Always pause before opening a link within a text message or email. Some scams can be very convincing.

Take five to stop fraud

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you will let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.

1. STOP
Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

2. CHALLENGE
Could it be fake? It is ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

3. PROTECT
Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Take Five to Stop Fraud

Action Fraud (to report fraud or cyber-crime, Monday - Friday 8am-8pm)

Digital learners

Digital Learners is a local service which can help if you would like to learn more about cyber security and how to avoid online scams.