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Money

 

Debt Advice

A lot of people will be making serious adjustments to their finances in the coming months.  If you need advice on debt and managing your money the Welfare Rights service is available.
https://www.tameside.gov.uk/welfarerights
 

Illegal Money Lenders

If you find yourself in financial hardship it may be tempting to consider a loan from an illegal lender.   Illegal money lenders can use unscrupulous tactics to prey on vulnerable people.  If you are aware of a loan shark operating in your area you can report them here.  If you have already taken a loan and are worried about what might happen if you can’t repay it advice is available here. 
https://www.stoploansharks.co.uk/
 

Theft and Financial Exploitation

With so many people now relying on others to help with shopping, there is a chance some people will be open to financial exploitation or theft.  If you have a neighbour who offers help, try to avoid cash changing hands and do not keep large sums of money in your home.  Speak to your bank about setting up money transfers online or over the phone, or ask someone to help you place an online shopping delivery order.  Do not pass on your bank card or pin number to anyone else, as you are not protected against theft. 

If you have offered to help a neighbour encourage them to set up alternative ways to transfer shopping money to you that does not rely on cash physically changing hands, and can be tracked through bank statements so nothing is forgotten by either party.  Further advice is available for people supporting friends and neighbours to stay safe here.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely--2/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely

If you do not have a friend or neighbour you can trust to handle your money or do your shopping, alternative help is available. 
https://www.tameside.gov.uk/coronavirus/emergency
 

Scams

Some people see an opportunity to make money when people are feeling vulnerable.  Coronavirus has given rise to scams that play on people’s worries, and seek to cash in by offering products with false claims attached, for example Coronavirus testing kits, or hand sanitiser and face masks that will never arrive.  Click here to see how to spot a scam.
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/coronavirus-scams-how-to-spot-them-and-stop-them/

If you are self-isolating and are receiving help from volunteers or services, the person visiting your home should be able to prove who they are with a valid ID badge or equivalent documentation.  You should also be expecting them.  If someone you don’t know calls at your house unexpectedly and cannot prove who they are, don’t be embarrassed to turn them away and do not let them into your home.  Here is some guidance on how to spot doorstep scams and the things you can do to protect yourself.
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/scams-fraud/doorstep-scams/
 

Online Gambling

It may be a tempting way to pass the time but online gambling can be harmful and highly addictive.  Sites are offering attractive joining bonuses but remember; the house always wins in the end.  Online gambling will drain your much needed funds at a time when it's wise to conserve money.  Gambling too much or getting into debt through gambling can damage your mental health and family life, as well as stopping you getting credit or a mortgage in the future. 
 
If you think you, or a family member or friend, are gambling too much and want to cut back, contact the national gambling helpline (open 24/7) on 0808 8020 133, or Tameside’s gambling counselling provider, Beacon, who are maintaining a telephone consultation service during the outbreak, on:  0151 321 1099 / gamcare@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk
 
https://beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk/free-gambling-counselling/

For more information on the support available in Tameside please visit: https://www.tameside.gov.uk/gambling
 

Universal Credit

 
If you are currently, or newly out of work due to Coronavirus, information on claiming Universal credit can be found here.
 
https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
 
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