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Fraudsters target families in new wave of energy scams | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp


Ms Hart said: “It can sometimes lead to a two-pronged scam, where the criminal calls back at a later date posing as your bank.

“They use the details handed over from the text to convince the victim they are being hacked by a third party and ask them to transfer their savings to a ‘secure account’. But in reality you are sending thousands of pounds to the scammer.”

Households do not need to apply for the energy rebate as suppliers will automatically apply it to utility bills for six months from October.

Billpayers will never be asked for bank details to qualify for the support and ministers have warned they should “stay alert” for scammers taking advantage of the scheme.

In one case a 26-year-old mother-of-three fell victim to the scam after she was duped into sharing her bank account details in the belief she was entitled to the energy rebate. But instead, the scammers used her details to steal £400 from her bank account.

Amber Burridge of Cifas, Britain’s biggest independent anti-fraud agency, warned reports of fake energy rebates had increased in recent months.

She said: “It is a prime example of criminals capitalising on the cost of living crisis to exploit the public and catching victims while their guard is down.

“Criminals know finances are squeezed and are relying on this to trick people into parting with their personal and financial details.”

The anti-fraud agency also expects scammers to target households with false messages regarding the £150 government payment available to disabled households from this week.

“People need to be extra vigilant. If you receive a suspicious text, stop and think carefully before engaging or clicking on any links,” added Ms Burridge.

Have you been targeted by scammers? Get in touch to share your story and raise awareness by emailing rachel.mortimer@telegraph.co.uk

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