Criminals exploiting cost of living crisis with energy rebate scam emails | UK News

Criminals are cashing in on the energy crisis by offering bogus rebates to try to trick victims into handing over bank account details.

Police said in the past two weeks they had nearly 1,600 reports of suspicious emails with links to malicious websites designed to steal personal and financial information.

The scam emails pretend to be from energy regulator Ofgem and titled “Request a discount on your bill now”, telling recipients they are due to pay under a government scheme to help people cope with escalating gas and electricity costs.

Detective Chief Inspector Hayley King, of the City of London Police, said: “It is shameful that in times of financial hardship, criminals have targeted members of the public by claiming that they have the right to receive discounts and refunds.

“If the email is genuine, the company will never force you to provide your details. Always take a moment to consider whether the request you receive is genuine.

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Liz Truss said: ‘I’m going to make sure people can afford their energy bills.

“We will always urge everyone to follow Implement five tips to prevent fraud and think carefully before giving out their personal and financial details. “

Police fear many recipients will be duped into responding to scam emails as it is expected to face difficulties as energy prices soar.

The emails were reported to the police as they contained glaring errors, urging the recipient to apply for an energy bill refund “before September 2020”.

An Ofgem spokesperson said: “Consumer protection is our top priority and it is alarming that vulnerable customers are being hunted down in this way as people already struggle. so many.

“That’s why, as the energy regulator, in addition to issuing our own warnings and advice, we have asked all energy suppliers to ensure information Clear and up to date scams are easily accessible on their website.

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Stephen Johnston retired thinking he would have enough money to live on, but he is struggling to pay his bills

“We take these consumer exploitation efforts very seriously and work with the National Cyber ​​Security Center to prevent these malicious attacks. If people aren’t sure it’s a scam or not. , they should pause, check, and not let callers push you into anything.

“Authentic organizations won’t mind you calling back; only scammers will pressure and ask you to hand over your details immediately.

“If you have any doubts about a message, consumers should contact the organization directly and not use the numbers or addresses in the message – use details from the official website their.”

Police say that anyone who suspects an email can forward it to To test.

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