Energy bill rebate worth £400 is coming – Britons warned of vicious scam messages

Martin Lewis explains inflation and energy bills

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The energy bill rebate is due in October, and will be paid in six separate instalments. However, fraudsters are capitalising on the new rebate, claiming to be from the energy regulator Ofgem. 

The scam messages, which have appeared in email and via text, prompt Britons to click a link where they are asked for their bank details to supposedly “secure” their payment.

However, this is all part of a scam designed to part Britons with their cash, as the messages do not come from Ofgem. 

It appears to be more vicious as it preys upon those who are desperate for the help with their energy bills. 

David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky, warned Britons to stay alert. 

He said: “The latest Government announcement detailing how the energy/gas incentives will be handed out, calls for some concern as fraudsters will undoubtedly try to capitalise on the cost of living crisis.

“Although the £400 will be automatically deducted from the bill for customers on a standard tariff, those who rely on a pre-paid meter will be handed the voucher through SMS text, email or by post, where they get their rebate if they follow a set of instructions.

“Text messages and emails with information about such monetary incentives call for caution.

“Scammers will seek to take advantage of the situation to impersonate legitimate correspondence and entice the receiver to click on a malicious link or enter bank details, purportedly in order to receive the discount.”

State pension set to rise next year but 520,000 people will miss out [INSIGHT]
State pension payment date changes due this month [LATEST]
Retirement and me: ‘Astonished!’ Former DWP worker dismayed [EXCLUSIVE]

Mr Emm warned that as many people are keen not to miss out on support, it may be more likely they would fall for a scam such as this one.

This is particularly the case for those who are in dire straights and turning towards the £400 for support.

The expert continued: “Such scams have the the potential to affect a large number of UK households.

“It’s important that individuals take extra precautions as it might be hard to distinguish energy rebate scams from the real thing.”

Thankfully, there are warning signs and steps Britons can take to protect themselves

Firstly, individuals should always check the email address which has sent them the correspondence.

The address may have clues as to the legitimacy of an email, for example a Gmail address means it is highly unlikely it is coming from a reputable, official source.

People should never click on random links contained within emails or text messages.

What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea

Mr Emm states it is far better to type in a URL oneself to avoid ending up on a phishing website.

Similarly, secure webpages should begin with https:// rather than just http://.

Britons should never rush or react in panic, as this is a key technique deployed by scammers to throw people off balance and get them to click links or open attachments.

Finally, if a person does think they have parted with sensitive information, they should also not panic.

Mr Emm added: “Reset your credentials on sites where you’ve used them, and change your passwords.

“If you’ve disclosed banking details contact your bank immediately.”

Source: Read Full Article