Ofgem scam warning over fake energy bill refunds – four email addresses to watch out for

Ofgem Chief Executive warns of increase in October

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Fraudulent text messages and emails are being sent to households which link back to websites which impersonate the energy regulator. These websites, which use Ofgem’s logo and branding but is in no way connected to the regulator, harvest people’s personal and financial information. This scam offers people an ‘energy bill rebate scheme’ and sends those who enquire about it to a fake online portal to apply for the refund.

Currently, households across the country are awaiting the official announcement of the energy price by Ofgem tomorrow (August 25).

As it stands, forecasts estimate that energy bills will likely exceed £3,600 on October 1 for the average household.

On top of this, experts believe the price cap could hit £4,266 by January 2023 which is resulting in people looking for better deals with suppliers and applying for any concessions or refunds.

With this in mind, scammers are seizing the opportunity and impersonating Ofgem by offering people refunds on their energy bills.

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The emails being sent out as part of the scam claims people can claim a £200 discount on energy bills later this year and a £500 council Tax Rebate.

However, the fraudsters also say that individuals must apply for this concession before September.

According to Which?, the following email addresses are among the many being used to carry out this Ofgem scam:

As part of the energy bill scam, the criminals will ask individuals for their address, phone number and payment card details.

On Twitter, the regulator stated: “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 is a scam.

“We have reported these to the NCSC Takedown service. They are working to get these taken down urgently.

“Nearly half have already been taken offline – the remaining are in progress and should continue to come down throughout the day.”

It should be noted that any legitimate emails from Ofgem will have an address which ends with ‘@ofgem.gov.uk’.

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Ofgem scam warning

As part of its guidance to households who are at risk of these scams, the regulator is encouraging consumers to ‘Stop, Check and Protect’.

Ofgem added: “Reject, refuse or ignore contact from ‘Ofgem’ that looks or sounds unusual, such as a request for your bank or personal details. We never ask for this information.

“Check branding. The Ofgem logo will always be present in our communications. It should never look stretched, blurry or distorted.

“Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam. Report it to Action Fraud if you live in England or Wales, and Police Scotland in Scotland.”

Outside of impersonating Ofgem, scammers are also taking advantage of the Government’s energy bill support, including the £400 grant for households.

Scammers are using emails and text messages to convince people to part with their cash by sharing their personal financial information.

Anyone who believes they are being targeted as part of an Ofgem scam can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Alternatively, those affected by energy bill fraudsters use the scam watchdog’s online form to file a complaint.

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