Scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis as the number of people targeted sees a rise, charities have warned. 

Three in four UK adults have been targeted by a scammer this year, a 14 per cent rise compared to this time last year. 

Around 40 million adults in the UK have been targeted by potential scams, according to figures from Citizens Advice and the Consumer Protection Partnership.

Many fraudsters are using the cost-of-living crisis to their own advantage, with some claiming to work for Ofgem and asking for people's bank details for a £400 energy rebate. 

Their warning comes as the Glasgow Times continues to raise awareness of the cost of living crisis through our Beat the Squeeze campaign. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised every household in the UK a grant amid soaring energy prices. 

The scammers have left some people with no money for food, including 65-year-old Sheree. 

The woman who lives alone and receives around £800 a month from her private pension lost almost £1000 after fraudsters got access to her bank details. 

She said: “When I checked my balance my heart literally dropped. I had no money, I couldn't buy any food. 

“I went to Citizens Advice, I was so distraught and really upset. I really do not know what I would have done without the food and fuel vouchers as I don’t have anyone to ask for help. 

“My bank did manage to get my money back, but the whole thing was extremely stressful. My health really suffered over those couple of weeks as all I was doing was worrying about how I was going to eat and pay my bills.”

David, an electrician from Elgin, recently lost more than £1,400 in a sophisticated delivery text scam. He had received a text message purportedly from a well-known delivery firm saying an extra charge of £1.50 was required for a parcel delivery.

As he was expecting a parcel, he clicked on the link and was taken to a website which asked him to provide a delivery address, phone number, card and bank details.

He then received a call purportedly from his bank’s fraud department, saying there had been suspicious activity on his account. He was then convinced to transfer £1,400 into a new “safe” account.

Derek Mitchell, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said scams are a “menace”, adding: “People here are only just recovering from the Covid pandemic and have been battered by the cost-of-living crisis.

“To have scammers stealing money from people is awful at any time but it seems especially bad at the moment. We urge people to stay vigilant and report any scams they come across. In Scotland your local Citizens Advice Bureau can offer free, confidential and impartial advice.”

The Scams Awareness Fortnight, run in partnership by Citizens Advice and the Consumer Protection Partnership, takes place from Monday until June 26.

Fiona Richardson, chief officer for Trading Standards Scotland, warned that scammers are quick to "exploit" current affairs.

She said: "Scammers are quick to exploit the changing and challenging circumstances that we are all currently facing.

“The Scams Awareness Fortnight campaign aims to bring these scams to the attention of consumers, ensuring they feel empowered to shut scammers down if approached by telephone, text or email.

“Anyone can be caught out by scammers especially as the tactics used are getting more and more sophisticated. I urge consumers never to rush or feel pressurised into responding if contacted and never give any personal or banking details to a cold caller, even if they appear to know some of your details already.”