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Warning! Five energy scams to watch out for

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As the cost of living crisis intensifies, scammers and fraudsters are circling. Experts are warning that criminals will look to take advantage of the situation by tricking individuals into handing over money or payment details by claiming to save them costs on their increasing energy bills.

We take a look at the top five energy scams that have been circulating over the past few months as energy companies, local councils and Action Fraud have issued warnings to consumers to keep an eye on who they contact regarding their payments.

Texts asking to claim or apply for cost-of-living help

In May this year Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor, announced the one-off cost of living payment of £650 that is divided into two instalments.

The first was issued in July amounting to £326 and the next is due to be issued in Autumn for £324. This is available to approximately eight million people who currently receive means-tested benefits like Universal Credit. This support automatically goes into peoples’ bank accounts.

However the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) released a warning that scammers are sending out a text followed by an email claiming to be ‘Gov.org’ asking recipients to call a fake number to provide more information.

If you’re eligible for the cost of living payment (check if you are eligible here) the payment will automatically go into your bank account. The DWP advised you don’t need apply, you don’t need to call them, the payment is automatic and they will never ask for personal details via text or email.

Council tax energy rebate scam

A number of councils and the Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, have warned households if they get a phone call about a £150 council tax rebate to not advise them of your bank/credit card details as it’s a scam.

In most cases where a council tax rebate is issued this is automatic by direct debit. If you don’t pay this via direct debit, most councils collect your bank details using secure online forms.

If you receive a call, text or email advising of a council tax rebate contact your local council and do not respond to the message or hang up the phone, and never pass on your bank details to the sender.

Ofgem is not offering a £400 energy rebate

Fraudsters haven’t stopped at sending texts urging individuals to apply for the cost of living grant but also attempting to fool people into thinking they are to receive a £400 energy rebate.

Ofgem, the UK Government’s regulator for electricity and downstream gas, issued a warning to all domestic energy providers to ensure their customers are aware of this scam. Increasingly people have been receiving texts impersonating Ofgem and falsely advising to claim for their £400 energy rebate. Just like the cost of living payment, the £400 energy rebate this is an automatic payment is made to the energy suppliers.

Ofgem has advised you will never receive a text from them to apply for funds or rebates. Stay vigilant and don’t respond to the energy supplier impersonator or click any links.

E. ON energy scam

The UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, Action Fraud issued a warning for consumers to watch and ignore a phishing email that states the recipient is owed an £85 refund as they impersonate the energy provider, E. ON.

The email from the fraudsters is intended to steal personal details and looks like a genuine looking website.

Pre-payment meter keys

Fraudsters have been cloning a pre-payment meter key, Action Fraud has warned.

It seems like a bargain for consumers as it advises of £100 credit but sold at a discounted offer of £50. The fraudsters have been posing as energy companies but individuals have found themselves in a financial mess months down the line. The real energy companies that you are a consumer of will notice you haven’t been paying your energy bill and will hit you with all the missed payments.

If you have been affected or suspect a fraudster has obtained your personal banking information, check Action Fraud to find out what to do next.


Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551