Help with cost of living pressures
- Chichester District Council is providing a range of support to local residents to help with cost of living pressures. More information about help with finances, help with household bills, help with health and wellbeing, help with housing and help for businesses.
- West Sussex County Council offers information and advice through its libraries, where you can also get internet access and take part in events and activities, and help towards food and fuel costs.
Warmer homes programme
The Warmer Homes Programme offers energy efficient measures to eligible households, such as insulation, solar panels and air source heat pumps to make homes more energy efficient and reduce heating costs.
Be scam aware
Residents are also advised to be careful of scams and fraudsters who are exploiting people in times of need. Types of scams include:
- Texts purporting to be from 'Gov.org' or 'DWP' inviting applications or claims for cost-of-living payments. In fact, payments are made automatically so there is no need to make such a claim.
- Bogus emails, texts or calls claiming to be from the local council requesting bank or card details so that the £150 council tax rebate can be paid. Again, this is not necessary to receive the payment.
- Fake messages about energy payments relief purporting to be from Ofgem, the energy regulator. Payments are actually being overseen by the Treasury.
- Emails, texts or calls claiming to be sent by energy suppliers offering switching deals, cheaper tariffs, discounts on prepayment meters or rebates.
- WhatsApp scams where you receive a message from someone on a number you don't recognise claiming to be a family member or friend, informing you they have changed their phone number. A short while later, they request money to solve 'a problem which needs payment' (made more believable by the cost-of-living crisis), also known as the 'friend in need' or 'mum and dad' scam.
- Advertisements, emails, texts or social media posts offering either non-existent loans or those with incredibly high interest rates, to help you through a period of financial hardship.
- An invitation to join 'get rich quick' schemes or jobs, with seemingly (so probably) impossible returns. These range from supposed high return pension and other investment schemes to being paid for the use of your bank account.
- A general increase in 'traditional' scams offering great deals on tickets, holidays, vehicles, consumer goods, fashion and other things you purchase online. What you buy is either non-existent or not as advertised.
Think before you click
Protect yourself and do your research, look out for spelling and grammatical errors, never reveal personal or financial data, don't open email attachments or click on links, and make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date.
You can check if a website is legitimate at getsafeonline.org/checkawebsite