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How To Avoid Energy Scams

As the cost of living crisis rumbles on around us, showing little sign of slowing down in the foreseeable future, no doubt there are many of you out there counting every penny and wondering how you’re going to make ends meet.

What’s particularly worrying about this kind of crisis is that there are always going to be scammers, hackers and other criminally-minded individuals looking to profiteer and take advantage of the situation.

Something to be particularly on your guard against at the moment is energy scams, which are doing the rounds with worrying frequency right now. Research from Citizens Advice (1), published in June, found a 14 per cent rise in the number of people being targeted by scammers this year, with energy scams representing 12 per cent of the whole.

Reported scams include emails claiming to be from Ofgem asking for bank details to access the £400 energy rebate, or that the government is giving out £200,000 to those who are of pension age, disabled or on a low income.

Being aware of the different scams being used by criminals is a good idea, as it will help you be on your guard, while familiarising yourself with the warning signs is another way to ensure you won’t fall victim to fraud.

Key signs that you may be dealing with a scam include being pressured into transferring money quickly, being asked to pay in an unusual way or if you’re being asked to surrender personal information, such as PIN numbers or passwords.

Also bear in mind that if a deal looks too good, it probably is. If you even feel just a little bit unsure, it’s always better to be safe than sorry so trust your gut and back away if the doubt is creeping in.

If you think you have been scammed, get in touch with your bank or card company as soon as you can, especially if you’ve made any payments or have handed over sensitive financial information. You can also report the scam to Citizens Advice or to the Scams Action service.

Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We know scammers prey on our worries and fears and the cost-of-living crisis is no exception.

“Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s more important than ever we recognise the red flags. By reporting scams and sharing our own experiences, we can work together to protect ourselves and each other.” 

Text messaging is a particularly popular option for energy scammers, so make sure that you don’t inadvertently click on any links in texts from unfamiliar sources. This goes for emails you receive, as well. And don’t forget to check out company names online so you can verify them, just in case.

If you are struggling with debt at the moment because of cost of living challenges, get in touch with us today to see how we can provide you with debt help.



Money Helper has replaced the Money Advice Service and brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.