Scammers target carers eligible for £500 payout and rob them instead

Unpaid carers who are set to collect a £500 benefit for their vital role they played during the pandemic have been warned to beware of a nasty scam doing the rounds.

More than 57,000 unpaid carers in Wales will receive the one-time payment from the Welsh Government in May. However, a warning has been issued that fraudsters are posing as Welsh Government employees asking for people’s bank details – claiming they have account numbers and sort codes to pay carers the money. However, officials point out that the bounty can only be claimed by registering with your local council.

An unpaid caregiver is someone who cares for a partner, relative or friend who has an illness or disability. Carer’s Allowance is paid to people who are caring for at least 35 hours a week and caring for someone on certain benefits and earning no more than £128 a week.

Read more: Cadbury issues Easter egg scam warning to customers

The Welsh Government said the payment will benefit thousands of Wales’ most vulnerable unpaid carers, who often care for the longest and have the lowest incomes.

A statement from the Welsh Government on social media said: “We are aware that scammers are asking people to share their bank details to receive our £500 payment for unpaid carers.

“Payment can only be claimed by registering with your council – which will open in May. Please never share your bank details.”

What to do if you find yourself the victim of a scam?

Contact your bank

If you have been scammed and received money, you should contact your bank as soon as possible.

Raise the alert

If you have other financial products, like investments or accounts, tell the providers what happened. You can request that some form of protection be applied to your accounts, such as a password or flag warning which means that you will be contacted if someone tries to transfer funds out of your accounts or if details must be modified.

Check for security vulnerabilities

If the scam has, or you suspect it may have, resulted in the theft of your personal data, such as a password, it is important to act quickly.

Seek emotional support

If a scam has made you anxious, fearful or guilty, there is help at hand – you can contact the Samaritans, Victim Support or the anti-scam charity Think Jessica.

For more information on what to do immediately once you’ve been scammed, read here.

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Elaine R. Knight