If you are helping a pensioner with their tax, do look out for odd transactions on their bank statements, you might save them a lot of money.

Nichola Ross Martin FCA, writes,

There are a lot of companies out who don't care too much about customers, and also those who are deliberately scamming them.

Assisting a low-income pensioner recently I looked through the bank statements and this is what I found:

Post Office Home Phone: appears to have paid a bill three times. The account was then closed and Post Office are unable to explain what happened and pocketed the cash.

Result: refund expected of £300+

EDF Energy: consistent overpayment of account by direct debit.  
Result refund from supplier: £210

Redress Claims Co Uk : a payment of over £1,600 was taken from the pensioners's credit card. I have been unable to call the company on any of its numbers (they are dead or they hang up). This appears to be a scam - reported on Money Saving Expert. Redress Claims will pressure call and they say that they can assist with past misselling of financial products. They claim to be approved by "The Ministry of Justice". I suggest that you watch the small print (if you are young or old) because they will charge your credit card. 

Result: probably no hope of recovery of £1,600 +

Car recovery services
This is not a scam or cheat, but looking through the bank statments I identified three annual direct debit payments to three different road side recovery services. In the case of this pensioner they were obviously totally unaware that they had signed up for a direct debit, and each time they changed insurers they were sold another road side recovery fee.

Result: saving £450 per year

Winter Fuel Payments
Not a scam but you have to claim these payments from the DWP, they are not automatic, but you need to check that the money comes off your billl.

Result: £120 off winter fuel bills

If you are reading this and you need some assistance, do you also know about Tax Help for Older People "TOP"?

TOP is a FREE tax advice service for older people on low incomes who cannot afford  to pay for professional advice you can contact TOP on the helpline 0845 601 3321 or 01308 488066
or write to: TaxHelp for Older People, Pineapple Business Park, Salway Ash, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5DB. E-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.