The fraudsters send bogus messages pretending to be from a supplier or from Ofgem, to get people to send them information which may be used to commit fraud. Fraud prevention group, Cifas, has reported an increase in scams where an email is distributed saying the patron is owed a refund on their energy bills, reports the Day by day Record.
The message states that the person is eligible for a refund as they paid greater than they need to have for his or her energy within the period 2020 to 2021.
The e-mail features a link to a webpage, controlled by the scammers, where the shopper fills out a form with their personal and financial information.
The energy company’s logo is used but the e-mail domain is different from the energy supplier.
Amber Burridge, head of Intelligence at Cifas, said: “As the associated fee of living crisis continues, criminals are using a wide range of ways to focus on unsuspecting victims with a view to steal money and private information that may be used to commit fraud.
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“Keep in mind that regardless of how a suggestion involves your attention, there are only a few occasions where there may be a legitimate need handy over your bank details.
“Fraud may be executed in stages, and criminals will try a mixture of various techniques, from sending ‘free products’ to unsolicited calls purporting to be from a trusted organisation.”
Cifas also advise Britons to consider carefully before responding to unsolicited calls, texts or emails.
One other tip from the group is to all the time challenge requests for private or financial information, to be certain the request is legitimate.
Ms Burridge said: “Identical to you must never give out a one-time passcode, don’t give anyone permission to remotely access your computer.
“It’s crucial that we proceed to stay vigilant of fraud and work together to stop criminals from exploiting the general public.”
Retail consumer website, Which?, has also warned consumers of the refund scam where criminals send messages claiming to be from Ofgem, in a ploy to get people to input their personal details.
Consumers should check the authenticity of an email before responding and sending over any information.
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Ofgem said previously in a tweet: “There’s reports thieves are emailing consumers saying they’re from Ofgem and asking for direct debit details to refund the winter energy repayment. This can be a scam.
“We’ve got reported these to the NCSC Takedown service. They’re working to get these taken down urgently.”
Analysts consider the energy price cap could hit £4,266 by January 2023 which is leading to people in search of higher deals with suppliers and applying for any concessions or refunds.
Any legitimate emails from Ofgem may have an address which ends with ‘@ofgem.gov.uk’.