UK

Cost of living crisis: Action Fraud warns about bogus Ofgem emails offering cash energy rebates

Cyber criminals claiming to represent Ofgem are targeting householders offering them fake energy rebates so they can access their bank accounts and steal the contents. 

Action Fraud said they have received almost 800 reports of a phishing fraud where people have received emails claiming to be from the energy regulator Ofgem. 

According to the scam, householders are warned they must apply for the ‘energy bill rebate’ before June 1. 

The scammers claim customers can have the £200 discount on their electricity bills and £250 council tax rebate sent directly to their  bank accounts. 

The criminals have a link embedded into their email where a customer is brought to a portal where they are asked for their bank details. 

Cyber criminals are exploiting the cost of living crisis and spiralling energy prices by sending out phishing emails purporting to be from industry watchdog Ofgem

Action Fraud has warned consumers that cyber criminals are sending out phishing emails purporting to be from Ofgem offering energy rebates

Action Fraud has warned consumers that cyber criminals are sending out phishing emails purporting to be from Ofgem offering energy rebates 

Action Fraud warned the email, pictured, looked convincing, but the link would bring a victim to a fake website that wanted to steal your bank account details

Action Fraud warned the email, pictured, looked convincing, but the link would bring a victim to a fake website that wanted to steal your bank account details

Action Fraud has warned customers that these emails are a scam and has asked recipients to forward the emails to their investigators. 

According to investigators: ‘Action Fraud has received 752 reports in four days relating to fake emails purporting to be from Ofgem. 

‘The emails state that the recipient is eligible for a rebate as a result of a newly announced government scheme. 

‘The links to the email lead to genuine-looking websites that are designed to steal your personal and financial information. ‘

 Customers are warned that banks and other official organisations will never ask for personal information over email or text. 

If in doubt, people should contact the company directly – not using any link or number associated with the suspicious email. 

Also, people are asked to forward suspicious emails to [email protected] 

The criminals hope to use desperation caused by the cost of living crisis to dupe people into handing over their personal details allowing them to be exploited. 

Yesterday consumers were told that the energy price cap is expected to increase by a further £830 in October brining it to £2,800. 

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley told MPs the regulator is expecting an energy price cap in October ‘in the region of £2,800’ as the market copes with ‘once-in-a-generation’ price changes ‘not seen since the oil crisis of the 1970s’.

Energy prices pushed the consumer prices index (CPI) to 9 per cent in April, and Mr Brearley’s remarks immediately led to calls for the Government to do more to help households cope with the deepening cost-of-living crisis.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, pictured in the House of Commons today during the brutal day of questioning for PM Boris Johnson, will tomorrow announce an expected £10bn plan to alleviate the cost of living crisis

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, pictured in the House of Commons today during the brutal day of questioning for PM Boris Johnson, will tomorrow announce an expected £10bn plan to alleviate the cost of living crisis

Rishi Sunak is expected to reveal further measures to help with spiralling prices tomorrow, but Environment Secretary George Eustace warned the Chancellor has a ‘very difficult path’ to ensure that inflation is kept under control. 

The Chancellor is expected to unveil a multibillion pound plan tomorrow as the Government seeks to draw a line under the partygate row and focus on the squeeze in living standards caused by soaring inflation.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said ‘we may hear more this week’ from the Chancellor.

But he told LBC: ‘We are treading a very difficult path here because if we just borrow lots more money and throw it at the situation we could compound inflation, we could make the situation worse and see prices rise further.

‘So we have got to try to dampen that inflation and that means showing some restraint but, equally, helping people, particularly those on the lowest incomes, who will struggle with some of these price rises.’

Mr Eustice, whose portfolio includes the food industry, suggested consumers are already switching to cheaper brands to cut their grocery bills.

He previously suggested that is a way to save money but insisted: ‘I wasn’t lecturing or telling anyone what they should do.

‘What I was pointing out is that last time we had this price spike, in 2008, what actually happened was that household spending on food didn’t rise by as much as food prices and that’s because people did change their shopping habits, they bought different items and in some cases, yes, they downtraded to some of the value brands.

‘That’s just an observational comment; it’s what some families did in 2008 and it is what people will be doing now.’

As well as food, the cost-of-living squeeze is being driven by soaring energy prices.

A windfall tax on oil and gas giants, who have benefited from globally high prices, is widely expected to help fund measures which will be targeted at the most vulnerable.

Measures which have been discussed as part of a package worth around £10 billion could include a further increase to the warm homes discount to help low-income households cope with rising energy bills.

Other measures which have been discussed include increases in the winter fuel allowance, a further cut in council tax or a VAT cut.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button