The Office of Fair Trading believes scams cost UK consumers at least 3.5 billion pounds in 2008 and three million UK consumers a year fall victim to scams sent via post, email, text message and over the phone. Chances are you have been targeted at some point, be it via bogus lotteries, ‘free’ holidays, premium-rate calls and fraudulent individuals posing as bona fide salespersons.
Financial website Unbiased.co.uk announced this week that as a nation we spent the first 83 days of the year working just to pay the interest on our debts. Personal loan levels increased to 11.4 billion pounds in 2008, up by over 1.6 billion pounds on the previous year and mortgage debt from equity release loans also increased by 6.5 billion pounds. Credit card debt, on the other hand, decreased by just over 4.9 billion pounds.
The energy regulator has said that it is considering a ban on unjustified price differences in the energy market to address concerns that customers are being charged differing amounts according to their payment methods.