Navigating through the minefield of scams, unemployment and hidden costs…
The midweek money sections issued a note of caution this week, warning that frauds and scams are on the rise. The Mirror reported that in the past six months, 50,000 people have had their identity stolen – meaning that a whopping 275 victims have been successfully targeted every day and the Daily Mail dedicated its front page to a family who had been caught up in a bogus villa scam. This increasingly common fraud not only leaves holidaymakers without a place to stay but, moreover, families are then left exposed to a legal grey area which means that they rarely get their money back.
If the news that scams are increasing wasn’t bad enough, Lauren Thompson’s piece in the Mail certainly put the icing on the cake. She revealed that thousands of students with summer jobs are losing money as they haven’t filled in the right forms. Full-time students do not have to pay income tax provided they earn less than £6,475 per year, but if they fail to fill out the correct forms then a large chunk of their earnings is gobbled up by the taxman. It’s certainly harder to avoid being duped when you are the one scamming yourself!
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom in the money sections. In light of the “hidden costs” of investing in funds, Paul Farrow wrote a very helpful article in the Telegraph explaining how to save yourself a bundle and pay less. Liz Phillips’ report on how to survive if your job is axed was also upbeat. Rather than focusing on the increasing chance of facing unemployment, she gave details on what your rights are and how to avoid high tax rates.
Furthermore, there was good news (finally) for pensioners in the Express. Although pensions have been hit by a series of mis-selling scandals over the past decade, tens of thousands of pensioners could now be in line for compensation because they weren’t informed that they could (and should) shop around for the best possible annuity at retirement. It’s not just pensioners who have a reason to celebrate either. Holly Thomas explained that an increase in competition in the banking sector means account providers are battling harder than ever to attract new customers. With some banks offering money to draw you in and others specialising in accounts for students, it would appear there is something for everyone. Just bear in mind Tricia Phillips’ advice – if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The scores this week are:
Credit cards 7%