Scammers pretend to offer an energy bill rebate
In the last few weeks, our electronic inbox got several e-mails telling us that we could receive a refund from the government or from the electricity board. But it didn’t just stop at that electronic mail. We also received calls over the phone promising that we would get so much money to soften our energy bill and mitigate this energy crisis.
It looks like it is playground time for certain people who do not mind to rob people. And it looks like they have gained a lot of practice in mugging people. Some of their letters look really as if they come from the government or from an established company.
Those who have solar panels on their roofs also received multiple notices of so-called contributions to match the cancelled rollback counter.
Local British, Belgian and French authorities have warned that criminals are cold-calling people asking for their bank account details to offer them the chance to receive the £150, €150 or €210 rebate. Keep in mind that the state has all the data on you, so it certainly does not need your bank details.
The energy bill rebate scheme is part of the government’s response to ease the financial pressure on customers due to rising energy prices and the rising cost of living. In doing so, media reports make it appear that there would then be additional rebates for medium-sized businesses and a contribution from the European Commission to mitigate rising energy costs. This then provides additional fodder for scammers to strike during that time of ambiguity and anticipation.
Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Vice-Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“Councils are working hard to ensure eligible residents receive their energy rebate payments as soon as possible, however, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to take advantage of the financial worries people are facing and as a result, many of these scams look legitimate on first impression.
“Anyone can fall victim to a scam, and we urge people of all ages to brush up on the tell-tale signs, and the support available to those who need it.”
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