Fraudsters are taking advantage of the uncertainty and worry surrounding rising energy bills in an effort to target unsuspecting Britons. With many worried about the higher costs, some people are likely to let their guard down and fall for scams they wouldn’t otherwise.
A particularly nefarious scam involves supporting the energy bill, claiming that Britons are entitled to a discount or refund.
Lloyds Bank released a video on the matter, which said: “Beware of texts claiming to be from the Government offering you money off your energy bills.
“Scam messages are sent with a link to apply for the Government’s energy support scheme.
“If you click on the link, it will take you to a site that looks like the Government website, but it isn’t.”
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Fraudsters could also commit identity fraud in a person’s name, with their bank details and hard-earned cash.
In recent weeks, major providers have been forced to warn their customers of similar tricks, as many could be unwitting victims.
British Gas has warned of an email claiming to offer Britons a refund on their energy bills worth hundreds of pounds, which is actually a scam.
Other fraudulent emails and text messages claim to come from E.ON, Scottish Power, EDF and even energy regulator Ofgem.
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Ofgem said it was “alarming” to see vulnerable customers being targeted in this way and pointed out to Britons the scam targeting of their respective suppliers.
The Lloyds Bank video urged people to protect themselves and remain vigilant.
He added: “If you get one of these texts, don’t reply or click the link, just delete it.
“You can report scam messages like this for free to 7726.
“Never respond to a text offering help with your energy bills. It’s a scam.”
People who have doubts about the legitimacy of a message are always encouraged to contact the organization directly, using a separate and trusted contact number.
A bank, or any other official source, will never ask people to provide personal data via email.
Recently, Detective Chief Inspector Hayley King of the City of London Police said: “It is disgraceful that at a time of financial hardship, criminals are targeting members of the public claiming they are entitled to discounts and refunds.
“If an email is genuine, the company will never push you to hand over your details.
“Always take a moment to consider whether the request you received is genuine.”