Smartphone users within the UK must be looking out for a dangerous text message that is allegedly in regards to the energy bill rebate scheme. The warning was issued by energy regulator Ofgem, who’ve been placed on notice in regards to the convincing scam text message. The text says the recipient is eligible for a £400 rebate from the Government to assist with their energy bills and directs them towards a web site that allegedly lets people apply for this windfall.
This site, nevertheless, is merely designed to steal sensitive personal data from them, which in turn could possibly be used for identity fraud.
Typically with scams there are just a few red flags which will help people spot it is a con. This includes being directed to a fake looking URL and the sender’s name being suspicious.
But on this case the text victims have received says the contact name is Ofgem while the URL looks like an official Ofgem website at first glance.
Alerting people to the scam on Twitter, Ofgem said: “Scammers are sending SMS messages appearing to be from Ofgem offering rebates
“THIS IS A SCAM.
“The link could harvest your personal data so be #ScamAware”.
The message in query says: “You might be eligible for the federal government funded £400.00 energy bill rebate. To finish your application, visit: ofgem.secure-reg.com”.
The energy regulator also offers advice for people on how you can avoid scams on its website.
Ofgem explains: “Scammers may sometimes contact you pretending to be from Ofgem. For instance, a scammer might call saying they’re from Ofgem, suggest you turn after which ask on your bank details.
“They may attempt to contact you by: knocking at your door, phone call, social media, email, pop-up message on a web site, easy message, text message.
“These are energy scams. Ofgem would never sell you energy, ask for private information or come to your property.”
Ofgem also lists three steps to assist people spot a scam and never fall victim to it…
STOP – Reject, refuse or ignore contact from ‘Ofgem’ that appears or sounds unusual, akin to a request on your bank or personal details. We never ask for this information.
CHECK – Check email addresses. Any emails to or from Ofgem at all times end @ofgem.gov.uk. Check branding. The Ofgem logo will at all times be present in our communications. It should never look stretched, blurry or distorted.
PROTECT – Only criminals will attempt to rush or panic you.
Contact your bank immediately for those who think you’ve fallen for a scam. Report it to Motion Fraud for those who live in England or Wales, and Police Scotland in Scotland.