Customers warned over energy bill support scams

Scammers want to take advantage of the difficult financial situation people are currently in, officials have warned

Big Zero Report 2022

The trading standards service covering Devon, Plymouth and Somerset has issued a warning for residents to look out for scams that appear to offer financial support to help households with their energy bills.

Scammers are using SMS texts and emails, posing to be from genuine and legitimate sources, to contact recipients.

Messages vary, but their aim is for the recipient to click the link in the communication, the Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service has suggested.

It added that one such scam text wanted the recipient to think it had been sent by the government, but on closer inspection, the text omitted the full stop between GOV and UK.

Steve Gardiner, Legal Process Manager for the Trading Standards service, said: “Don’t click on the link. Scammers intend to either get money from you, obtain your personal details, or possibly to corrupt or gain access to the electronic device you are using. Either way, you want to avoid it.

“One thing is certain, whenever there is an opportunity – in this case, the rising costs of energy and costs of living putting enormous financial pressures on households – there will be unscrupulous people wanting to take advantage for their own gain.”

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