One of the big challenges facing those in isolation is getting household supplies, e.g. grocery shopping. Where possible people are encouraged to ask trusted family, friends or neighbours to help. Where this isn’t possible volunteers have offered help. However, for your financial safety (or the financial safety of your loved ones), please follow these tips to guard against financial abuse, theft, etc.
- Payments (whether they be upfront or reimbursements) should be made through electronic exchange systems wherever possible (e.g. bank transfers, card payments made over the phone etc.), so that they are traceable and separate from the act of delivery.
- Cash exchange should be avoided at all costs (to reduce opportunity for theft and also infection).
- Avoid giving someone your bank card and PIN, in order to protect both yourself and the volunteer supporting you.
- Volunteers should take photographs on mobile phones to share with the household (or the organisation they’re volunteering with) to create evidence of the purchases, costs and delivery.
- If the householder suffers from confusion or issues with phones, a nominated family member could receive texts with photos attached to safeguard against financial risks. Where the householder isn’t able to make electronic payments, perhaps a nominated family member could do so on their behalf.
You may be able to phone a local shop to place an order and pay over the phone. Many smaller shops are able to take electronic payments. Local volunteers can then just pick up the shopping and deliver. Denbighshire has created a list of community resources, which includes local businesses that are able to carry out over-the-phone transactions or deliver.