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PLEASE NOTE: New email addresses at Citizens Advice LeicesterShire.

From 17 April 2017, all staff changed to @citizensadviceleicestershire.org addresses, replacing @leicscab.org.uk.

Please update your records.

Leicester Ageing Together Volunteers required

Leicester Ageing Together (LAT) is a project that aims to reduce isolation in the over 50s and provide advice and information to those in hard-to-reach locations.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire LAT works by running Outreach services which provide information and advice in five wards, for example, Evington, Spinney Hills, Thurncourt, Belgrave and Wycliffe.

If you are interested in volunteering please visit www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org the ‘Volunteer with us’ section for an application form or leave your details with reception and we will contact you to discuss further.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire urges people to be on their guard against pension scammers

Press Release

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire urges people to be on their guard against pension scammers

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire (CITAL) is urging people in Leicestershire to talk to loved ones about pension scams to protect them from becoming victims.

Research from national Citizens Advice shows that pension scammers’ tactics are becoming more sophisticated with fraudsters offering free pensions ‘advice’ or ‘reviews’ as a first step towards tricking people out of their pension pots.

The research also finds people are particularly at risk of scams from phone calls, post and emails which come out of the blue. As many as 10.9 million consumers have received unsolicited contact about their pension in the last year.

CITAL is warning people to be on their guard against pension scam warning signs, such as high investment returns of over 8% and offers to access your pension before the age of 55.

Richard Evans Chief Executive of CITAL said:

“Talking to family and friends can be a good way to stay safe from pension scams.

“If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, it’s vital you report it and spread the word. By raising awareness, more people will know what warnings signs to look out for and how to report scams.  CITAL can help if you are are worried that you may have been targeted by scammers.

“If you are over 50 with a defined contribution pension, Pension Wise guidance can help you understand what pension scam warning signs to look out for.  CITAL can help you book a Pension Wise appointment.”

How to avoid being scammed

  • Ignore any contact you receive about your pension out of the blue. This could be in person, online, on the phone or in the post
  • Never be rushed into making a decision
  • Check if the company contacting you is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • If you are unsure, contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047
  • Look at the FCA’s Scamsmart warning list, which gives the names of investment schemes that are known scams. fca.org.uk/scamsmart
  • If you suspect you have been contacted by a scammer or you have already accepted an offer you think is a scam, report it to Action Fraud
  • If you are over 50, Pension Wise guidance can equip you with the knowledge of what to look out for to avoid falling victim to scams. Visit gov.uk
  • Visit the Pension Regulator’s website to find out more about protecting yourself from pension scams: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/

Anyone requiring advice or support can get help online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org. There is also a dedicated phone line on 0300 330 1025.

-ends-

For more information contact:

Lucy White

lucy.white@citizensadviceleicestershire.org.uk

Tel: 0116 326 0408

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Notes to editors:

  1. Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is an independent local advice charity providing information, advice and casework to residents across the city and county, except for Charnwood.  More information about services, locations and opening times is available from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information the Citizens Advice website.
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Citizens Advice services in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire campaigns to expose scammers’ tricks

Press Release

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire campaigns to expose scammers’ tricks

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire (CITAL) launched Scams Awareness Month on 1 July to help stop people falling prey to scams by following a three-step rule – get advice, report it, and tell others about it.

CITAL has advised a number of people targeted by scams and works in partnership with Citizens Advice Charnwood who are running a county wide information gathering service. The purpose is to visit vulnerable people to discuss how scammers operate, identify victims and the type of scams they fall for, and put in place personalised safeguards. One couple moving to Barcelona lost over £1,350 to scammers posing as a travel agent. They paid £1,350 to rent an apartment through a company called Flipkey who falsely claimed they were acting on behalf of Premier Travel, a legitimate company. The scammers asked for payment via bank transfer which meant the bank was unable to give a refund. The scam has left the couple not only without a place to live, but the financial strain they encountered has affected the health of their relationship.

In partnership with the local authority, CITAL also has a scams post box, situated at their Leicester city branch. Clients can drop off their scam mail in order for the Trading Standards team to build evidence of scams in the local area, taking action where appropriate.

The campaign comes as national research by Citizens Advice finds scammers are using a variety of tactics to get people to part with their cash, with people losing an average of £2,500 across all types of scam.

Scam methods include vishing whereby scammers cold-call people in a bid to get their bank details, and offers of fake services, such as telling people their computer has a virus which they can fix remotely.

Investment scams carried the highest price tag, with people investing in fake diamonds or bogus stocks and shares losing of on average £20,000 each.

CITAL is warning people to be on guard and watch out for the different methods used by fraudsters, from doorstep selling of counterfeit goods to demands for upfront payments for services that never materialise.

Richard Evans, Chief Executive of CITAL said:

“Scams are not a minor blight, they heap misery on people and in some cases can lead to financial ruin.

“Fraudsters use sophisticated techniques to con people and because they vary their methods, it can be tricky to spot when something is a scam. If you come across something that seems suspicious, seek advice so you don’t put yourself at risk.

“It’s vital to report scams and spread the word so we can clampdown on con artists and stop others falling into the same traps.”

Eight common scams reported to Citizens Advice are:

  1. Investment – victims are persuaded to invest money into fake ventures and are then unable to get their money back.
  2. Fake services – people are offered a service for a fee, only to find the service isn’t real or doesn’t exist at all. Examples include, offers to fix computers remotely and fake invoices for advertising.
  3. Vishing – con-artists cold-call people pretending to be a legitimate company, asking for credit or debit card details – for example on the pretence that they need to refund overpaid bills.
  4. Doorstep selling – victims are offered goods door-to-door or from the back of a van, which are likely to be counterfeit. Fraudsters selling mattresses, “fresh” fish and cleaning products were all reported to Citizens Advice.
  5. Upfront payment or fee – fraudsters ask for a payment in advance for a service or product that never materialises, such as asking for a fee to get a loan, or to pay for a training course to secure a job.
  6. Premium rate texts – victims inadvertently agree to receive premium rate texts about games or competitions, usually costing around £4 each.
  7. Counterfeit goods – people buy goods at marketplaces or online that turn out to be counterfeit or even stolen. Common products include cigarettes, shoes and clothing, and tickets for events.
  8. Goods not received – people place orders for goods which don’t arrive. Scams are often carried out through social media and online auction sites.

What to do if you have been scammed

Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through CITAL on 0300 330 1025 or www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org.

-ends-

For more information contact:

Lucy White

lucy.white@citizensadviceleicestershire.org.uk

Tel: 0116 326 0408

*****************************************************************************

Notes to editors:

  1. Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is an independent local advice charity providing information, advice and casework to residents across the city and county, except for Charnwood.  More information about services, locations and opening times is available from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information the Citizens Advice website.
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Citizens Advice services in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire offers advice following Brexit vote

Press Release

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire offers advice following Brexit vote

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is highlighting that the referendum vote to leave the EU does not mean any immediate changes to consumer rights, employment law or rules around immigration.

The local charity says it is reasonable to expect the government to legislate in light of leaving the EU but it will be sometime before that happens.

A new Citizens Advice webpage giving people information about how Brexit might affect them, was published on 24 June.  In the following week the information was viewed over 65,000 times and the advice also reached 230,000 people on Facebook and 232,000 via Twitter.

In the first 10 days since the EU referendum immigration, citizenship and what laws will change were also at the forefront of people’s minds.

Analysis of people seeking online help from Citizens Advice in the first 24 hours following shows immigration was the top search term, with citizenship 3rd.  Brexit was the 7th most popular search.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire has also started to receive queries about how Brexit will affect immigration/citizenship/employment.

The local charity is encouraging people to seek advice if they are unsure about their rights or feel they have experienced discrimination.

Richard Evans, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice LeicesterShire said:

“People have lots of questions about what leaving the EU means for their day to day lives.

“For some people it is as significant as what country they can call home. For others it is about their rights at work or personal finances.  It is important to remember nothing changes yet and that for the time being all rights remain the same.  It is likely to be several years before any changes to the law come into effect.

“We are here to help anyone who has a query about their rights and encourage people to come to us if they think they have been treated unfairly or discriminated against.”

Anyone requiring advice or support can get help online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org. There is also a dedicated phone line on 0300 330 1025.

-Ends-

For more information contact:

Lucy White

lucy.white@citizensadviceleicestershire.org.uk

Tel: 0116 326 0408

 

*****************************************************************************

Notes to editors:

  1. Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is an independent local advice charity providing information, advice and casework to residents across the city and county, except for Charnwood.  More information about services, locations and opening times is available from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information the Citizens Advice website.
  3. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  4. Citizens Advice services in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends.
  5. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.

Employment Support Allowance is most common money query says Citizens Advice LeicesterShire

Press Release

Employment Support Allowance is most common money query says Citizens Advice LeicesterShire

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire (CitAL) has helped people with almost 6000 money issues in the last year, new figures reveal.

People wanting to make the most of their finances are calling on CitAL for help and support with a range of money queries, from information about income tax to questions on savings and investments.

The top three money issues the charity has helped people with are:

  1. Over 2800 Employment Support Allowance issues
  2. Over 650 Pension Credit issues
  3. Over 350 Death & Bereavement issues

Queries included how to put together a household budget and stick to it; how to open a savings account and make regular savings; how to find the best deals on energy and service provision; how to reduce the amount of energy used by the household; how to read a bank statement or a credit report; and how to manage debts.

The service also helps people improve their money skills – offering tips on budgeting and getting the best deals.

Nationally Citizens Advice has helped 168,500 people with money management and financial services issues in the last year.

Lynn Davies, Money Advice Supervisor at CitAL said:

“CitAL helps people make the most of their finances and plan for the future.

“As well as seeking help to understand their finances, increasingly the people we help want the skills to manage their money in different ways. This is really important because with so many financial options available, it’s crucial people are equipped with knowledge to make the right choices about their money.

“From guidance on budgeting to help with online banking CitAL offers a range of support to help people understand their financial circumstances, and plan for tomorrow.”

Citizens Advice offers general advice on a wide range of money issues, from queries about insurance and mortgages, to information on wills.

In addition to general advice, CitAL offers more in-depth sessions in the following areas:

  • Financial capability – building skills such as budgeting and getting the best deals helping people to take control of their income and increase their financial wellbeing.
  • Digital money skills – including online banking which gives people the ability to keep track of their money on a daily basis and use comparison sites allowing them to get the best deals on energy and service provision.
  • Pension Wise – guidance to anyone over 50 with a defined contribution pension.
  • Energy Best Deal – advising people how to get the best deal on their energy; how to monitor the energy they are using; and sharing energy saving tips to reduce the amount of energy they are using.

Anyone needing help with their finances can get in touch with CitAL at www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org, on 0300 330 1025 or visit one of our branches.

 

-ends-

 

For more information contact:

Lucy White

lucy.white@citizensadviceleicestershire.org.uk

Tel: 0116 326 0408

*****************************************************************************

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is an independent local advice charity providing information, advice and casework to residents across the city and county, except for Charnwood.  More information about services, locations and opening times is available from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information the Citizens Advice website.
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Citizens Advice services in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.

Benefits is top problem facing people in Leicestershire

Press Release

Benefits is top problem facing people in Leicestershire

New figures from Citizens Advice LeicesterShire show people need the most help with benefits.

Overall, 23,500 people turned to Citizens Advice LeicesterShire for assistance in the last financial year, with issues ranging from employment to energy.

The top five issues were:

  1. Benefits – 8550 issues
  2. Debt – 3700 issues
  3. Employment – 3500 issues
  4. Housing – 3200 issues
  5. Relationships – 2500 issues

Benefits was the most common issue facing Leicestershire residents, representing over a third of all queries.

People were most likely to seek help with the sickness and disability benefits Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) because the Work Capability Assessment, which determines people’s eligibility, is failing to deliver accurate decisions. The poor quality of assessments means that people in genuine need of help can end up without any income whilst their application is reviewed.

Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, said:

“Citizens Advice LeicesterShire helps thousands of people solve their problems every year, and we’re in a unique position to know the big issues facing people in our communities.  Not only do we help people solve their problems but our advice and education work can prevent issues escalating.

Last year, we saw a notably high number of people who had experienced problems with the assessment for the sickness and disability benefits PIP and ESA, and we were able to assist them with the paperwork and appeals process.

The ‘Work Capability Assessment’ is unfit for purpose. The system fails sick and disabled people and problems related to ESA and PIP are now the biggest issue facing our clients. Anyone could suddenly become sick or disabled and it’s vital that we have a strong system in place to help people cope with the unexpected.

Anyone who needs a hand with an issue they are dealing with can contact Citizens Advice LeicesterShire to help find a resolution.”

The charity runs face-to-face sessions in Leicester, Blaby, Market Harborough, Coalville, Hinckley, Melton, Wigston and Lutterworth, as well as a phone helpline. There are also Money Advice, Macmillan and PenionWise advice sessions to make it easier for people to access its free and impartial advice service.

Anyone requiring advice or support can get help online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org. There is also a dedicated phone line on 0300 330 1025.

 

-ends-

 

For more information contact:

Lucy White

lucy.white@citizensadviceleicestershire.org.uk

Tel: 0116 326 0408

*****************************************************************************

Notes to editors:

  1. Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is an independent local advice charity providing information, advice and casework to residents across the city and county, except for Charnwood.  More information about services, locations and opening times is available from www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information the Citizens Advice website.
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Citizens Advice services in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.

Treasurer vacancy

For full details of the role of Treasurer at Citizens Advice Leicestershire please visit our job vacancy page

Hinckley branch to get official launch

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire’s Hinckley branch has relocated to the Hinckley Hub as part of borough-wide plans to offer community services all in one space.

Click here to read more in the Hinckley Times

How to get energy smart with meters

 

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire talks about promoting the use of smart meters and offering advice on how people can get them installed.

Click here to read the full article in the Hinckley Times