The team says there has been a rise in energy-related scams in recent weeks – including scams based on the council tax energy rebate, Ofgem energy and E.ON energy.
Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said: “It is important to remain vigilant to reduce the chances of falling victim to scammers. Sadly, even the savviest consumer is at risk of being scammed at some point in their lives.
“Scammers are clever, sophisticated and can sound extremely convincing, even pretending to be from the council to lull you into a false sense of security, but be aware of uninvited contact through unsolicited emails, phone calls and doorstep cold callers.
“It is really important that you don’t reveal personal information such as banking details and if you are in any doubt, always seek advice and report suspected scams as soon as possible.
“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.”
Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s head of business and consumer protection, added: “Scammers involved in energy related scams will typically claim to be from an energy company or Ofgem with the intention of misleading consumer’s into revealing personal information such as banking details, which the scammer uses to commit fraud against consumers.
“Finding and bringing scammers to account is very challenging as they often operate from countries outside the UK. The best defence is being aware of the risks and taking steps to thwart their attempts from the outset.”
The council has highlighted the following current scams.
Council tax energy rebate scam – Scammers call households asking for bank details to qualify for the government’s £150 energy rebate. The scammers claim to be associated with the council, explain a refund is due and ask for your bank details to pay out the £150 rebate.
Those who fall foul of this scam find that large sums of money have been deducted from their bank accounts shortly after the call. Information regarding the actual energy rebate can be found on Shropshire Council’s website at https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/council-tax/energy-bills-rebate/.
Further information regarding the scam can be found at https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/fake-council-tax-energy-rebate-scam-targeting-households-aeP2r9f7cIvz
Ofgem energy scam – Scammers contact you pretending to be from Ofgem suggesting you switch and then ask you for your bank details. These are energy scams and Ofgem never sell you energy, ask for personal information or come to your home. Further information can be found at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/avoid-and-report-energy-scams
E.ON energy scam – Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, has reported that scammers have sent fake emails, known as “phishing”, to consumers purporting to be from E.ON.
The email states the recipient is owed an £85 refund due to an overcharge. This email has a link to a genuine looking website but is designed to steal personal details. Further information regarding this scam and the phishing emails can be found on the E.ON website at https://www.eonenergy.com/staying-safe-online.html