Households awaiting £150 council energy rebate warned of ‘cold calling’ scam Business News

Criminals are cold calling households asking for bank details to receive the government’s £150 energy rebate, the councils have warned.

The government announced the refund earlier this year in response to soaring energy bills, with payments being administered by local authorities for all households in municipal tax brackets A to D.

Councils urged residents to be alert to the scam, stressing that they would never ask for bank details over the phone.

All households that pay council tax by direct debit will receive payment directly to their bank account.

Those who do not pay their council tax by direct debit will receive a letter with details of the procedure to follow.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said anyone who unexpectedly receives a text message, email or phone call requesting information or payment should not give out personal information, including bank details, click on links or respond until it can be sure it is genuine.

If in doubt, owners should find the details of the organization claiming to be in contact online and check with them directly.

The pandemic has seen a surge in scams, which have included promises of payment from HM Revenue and Customs to support individuals during lockdown or offers to book vaccinations for a fee.

Mohan Iyengar, vice-chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Council, said: “The councils are working hard to ensure eligible residents receive their energy refunds as soon as possible, but criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to take advantage of the financial worries people face and as a result many of these scams seem legit on the face of it.

“Anyone can fall victim to a scam, and we urge people of all ages to familiarize themselves with the tell-tale signs and the support available for those in need.

“If you receive a message that you think is fraudulent, you can report it to your mobile operator or by forwarding the message to 7726, a free reporting service provided by telephone operators.

“You should also report the scam to Action Fraud to help others avoid falling victim to it in the future.”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-16 07:10:12

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