Fraudsters are taking advantage of the cost of living crisis to expand their scams, according to an analysis of official figures, with a sharp rise in energy-related schemes exploiting Britons’ desire to save on electricity and gas bills.
The downside mentions that the name of the UK’s largest energy company will grow by 10% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, which is the consumer group? said in its assessment of mobile fraud data.
In January, the annual growth rate was 27%. With energy bills soaring, which? Said the true figure could be higher, and pointed out that many scam attempts go unreported.
Scammers target consumers “Phishing” Attempts Designed to collect their personal information, including banking details, which can then be used to carry out more sophisticated fraud.
Banking trade body British Finance said data breaches and phishing attempts resulted in bank fraud losses of £784m in 2020, the latest year for which data was available.
Which is one of the most commonly used methods? Emails from scammers posing as energy suppliers have been seen inviting customers to claim refunds for “miscalculated” energy bills.
The emails appear to be genuine communications from the energy provider because the scammers “spoofed” the email display name so it appears to be from an official address. In order to claim the rebate, customers are asked to click on the link and enter their bank details.
Other phishing scams in circulation and government £15bn energy aid package.
Earlier this month, Ofgem Write to all energy suppliers They are urged to warn customers about fake texts and WhatsApp messages purporting to be from the energy regulator.
The fake message read: “You are eligible for a government-funded £400 energy rebate”, inviting customers to click on a fake link to “complete your application”. In fact, starting in October, this discount will be automatically applied to customer bills.
Which?Say collapse Ten of the dozens of energy companies have created an atmosphere of confusion over outstanding bills, with scammers posing as debt collection agencies in an attempt to extract money from former customers.
The consumer group has seen “sophisticated” emails received by customers, including their full names and knowledge of former suppliers, adding that customer data could be “mishandled or stolen” as the company collapses.
Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre, also warns of scams cloned by criminals Prepaid Metered Tokens, and sold at low prices. It warns that, in effect, customers end up paying twice for their energy consumption once their legitimate suppliers determine what’s going on.
“We advise all consumers to be wary of unsolicited emails, text messages or letters, especially those not addressed to you that may ask for sensitive information or ask you to complete a bank transfer,” said Jenny Ross, Which? Money editor.
An easy way to check the source of an email claiming to be from an energy provider is to click on the sender name to reveal the source email address. Consumers can then view their supplier’s official domain name on the company’s official website. Which? It also warns that consumers’ legitimate suppliers will never ask for bank details because they have records.
“If in doubt, contact your energy provider directly using the contact information on their website,” Ross added.