Banks have warned UK residents about a number of new ‘cost of living scams’ currently doing the rounds across Britain. 

The latest scams involve fraudsters trying to take advantage of people struggling as prices soar. 

Scammers will often pose as local council 'officials', members of energy companies or retailers offering too-good-to-be-true discounts, or direct you to fake loan websites or offers.

Barclays bank has shared some important information for people to be aware of when faced with fraudsters.

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Local government scams

The government has recently announced a range of measures to help families with the rising cost of living.

If someone calls you pretending to be from the council and asks for your bank details so they can give you a refund, hang up.

If they text or email you, don't click on any links. Councils will never call or email asking for your bank details.

The website has more information about the rebates the government is offering, where you can see if you're eligible and find out how to claim them.

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Energy companies

The rising cost of energy is also leading to scammers contacting consumers about energy price offers and refunds.

If someone gets in touch about an offer for a great energy price deal or a refund, don't click on any links or give them any personal information over the phone.

Genuine companies will understand if you want to look into the offer, or call back on a number you can find on their website.

Retail discounts

If you're looking for retail offers and discounts, be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. Use reputable discount websites by typing the address in rather than using a search engine, or go directly to the retailer. 

Scammers could set up fake loan websites. The interest rate may seem low, but they'll say you need to pay an admin fee before they can release the money – this will be a scam.

Always check a company offering loans is fully regulated by checking the FCA website. If you're struggling financially, talk to your bank and see what support they can offer.

Remember – if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.