In the midst of numerous scams, there are some that appear to be from the energy regulator Ofgem. This came after the government’s announcement of a £400 energy bill discount for all households. The government also advised that the discount will be automatic, and you need not give personal details for the application process.
The surge in energy bills is rising steadily; it has been predicted to reach £4,200 in 2023. But the government has said that typical household energy bills will be capped at £2,500 per year until 2024.
An Ofgem has advised energy suppliers to be clearer on potential customer fraud on their websites.
The fraudulent messages invite people to apply for the £400 “non-repayable discount” and takes the recipient to the fake Ofgem website to then request personal details. The website encourages people to set up a direct debit to get the money.
An Ofgem spokesperson stated that customer protection is their top priority. It is terrifying that vulnerable customers are being attacked like this when people are struggling so much already, he said.
They have issued warnings and advice and also asked energy suppliers to ensure clear and updated information on scams is easily accessible on their websites, according to the spokesperson. “We take these attempts to exploit consumers very seriously.”
Identified scam sites:
Over 1,500 reports have been filed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau related to scam emails claiming to be from Ofgem related to energy rebates.
Remember that if the email is from a genuine source, it will never coerce you into sending your personal details.
The reported emails are sent under the subject ‘Claim your bill rebate now.’ The scam appears genuine because they are also using the Ofgem logo and colors.
How to Protect Yourself?
Stay vigilant and learn about the several identified scams that target consumers in the wake of a cost-of-living crisis.
Criminals are using various ways to target trusting victims to steal money and personal information to further commit fraud. Keep in mind that no matter the mode of communication, there are not many occasions where there is a legit need to provide your bank details.
- Unsure about a message? Contact the organization directly.
- Do not use the details provided in the message. Always use the details from their official website.
- Neither your bank nor any other official source will ever ask you for your personal information via email.