Opportunity scammers are exploiting the cost of living crisis by sending fraudulent text messages as bait to households facing soaring energy bills, banks have warned.
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Sophisticated scammers are exploiting the cost of living crisis by sending messages to people worried about soaring energy bills.
UK Finance, the banking trade body, urges people to stay vigilant after noticing an increase in the number of “polishing” or SMS scams, which aim to impersonate major energy companies. .
The recipient is notified that their power supply has been switched to another supplier and that they should set up a new direct debit.
Have you been sent one of these messages? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Household energy bills will up almost £700 this year after Ofgem, the energy regulator, said earlier this month that it would raise its record 55% price cap to £1,971.
Ofgem also says they know scammers impersonating it: “Scammers may sometimes contact you pretending to be from Ofgem.
“For example, a scammer might say they’re from Ofgem and suggest you convert and then ask for your bank details.
“These are scams. Ofgem [does not] sell energy or request personal information. “
Scammers are also targeting victims through emails and phone calls. In one case, criminals pretended to be from Eon, an energy supplier, and told a customer they were eligible for a £85 refund.
Customers are asked to click on a link that takes them to a fake Eon login page that allows scammers to steal their personal information.
“We never ask for personal information, like your password, payment details, or address,” Eon said.
Two more companies Whoop Energy and Xcel Power stopped trading last weekaffects hundreds of customers.
A notice on the Whoop website said: “Whoop Energy is suspending trading. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is appointing a new supplier for its customers.”
An Ofgem statement said: “In recent weeks, unprecedented increases in global gas prices are putting financial pressure on suppliers.
“Ofgem is working closely with government and industry to ensure that customers continue to be protected this winter.”
If you become the victim of a scam, here’s what to do.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/warning-over-energy-bill-text-26288763 Energy bill text message alert asking households to change direct debit