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Is the person you’re paying, qualified to give the right advice?

I’ve paid for someone to advise me on housing and benefits. They’re well respected in my community and a lot of people pay for their advice, however, I don’t feel Iike I received the correct advice. I’ve received a few letters from the DWP and the person offering me advice is asking for even more money to help me with the letters. What should I do?

1. Trust: Always use someone you trust to help you with advice.

2. You do not have to pay for a service: Don’t ever pay money for advice if it is not registered and regulated.

3. Free advice: You can get free advice from many local advice organisations, such as Thetford Citizens Advice, Mind, Breckland Council, your local Community Support Officer

What should you do next?

1. The priority is to deal with the recent letters you’ve received from DWP, if you are unsure what they are about you can bring them to Thetford Citizens Advice and we can help you to understand what is being asked of you.

2. Bring someone you trust with you who can translate if necessary

3. Report it: If you think that someone has used your personal details to gain financially this is fraud and will need to be reported. Thetford Citizens Advice can support you with this.

We are aware that there are a number of ‘advice sharks’ operating within the local community and several of our clients have paid for advice when they could have received confidential and accredited advice for free from ourselves. We have also experienced cases of fraud where personal details of our clients have been used by the ‘advice sharks’ in order for them to benefit financially and cause financial hardship to the clients.

Thetford Citizens Advice offers confidential FREE advice on wide variety of issues including housing and benefits, as well as Employment, Family and Relationships, Debt and Money, Consumer, Health and Immigration.

If you do need a translator, please bring someone you know and trust with you to help with translation. We can also provide translation services where possible.

Would you like to volunteer for Thetford Citizens Advice as an Adviser? If so, we’d really like to hear from you. We’re particularly interested in people who would be able translate Polish, Portuguese and Russian. Please contact Amy Griffiths (Operations Manager) on

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