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Don't Fall for an Energy Scam: 5 Red Flags

Make sure your energy finances make sense

With the rise in inflation and the current economic state of the world, there has been a rise in scams. Vulnerable citizens are finding themselves being conned out of money. Energy scams are on the rise and have been as the energy crisis has progressed. The need to spend less and find better deals is being used against vulnerable citizens.

The point of an energy scam is to gain money or access to private information that can be used to steal money. One of the most common energy scams includes being offered a better energy deal than your current one.

If you're interested in finding a better deal, the best move is to have a look for yourself and see what’s available. The safest way to find better deals is to use legitimate businesses and comparison sites to compare energy rates based on your location.

We need to be vigilant to avoid falling prey to one of these energy scams. Knowing what to look out for will help you avoid being conned. Here are a few things to look out for when approached about better energy deals:

Suspicious Messages

You must be wary about any suspicious messages you receive in both emails and texts. These messages will usually be from someone claiming to be from your energy supplier or from another energy supplier. These messages have a few markers that can tip you off:

  • If the phone number or email address you've received the message from seems suspicious in any way. For example, if the number has a foreign area code or the email address seems more personal than a professional account.

  • These messages are often poorly written and contain poor spelling and grammar.

  • Most emails from businesses contain brandings, such as a logo or letterhead. If the logo looks distorted, weird, or blurry, it might be a scam and a poor attempt at forgery.

  • Most of these messages will include sketchy links with a call to action of some kind. Don't click on any weird links - these links can be used to mine your data.

It's always a wise idea to familiarise yourself with the phone numbers, email addresses, and websites used by your energy providers.

Weird Deals

Scammers will attempt to entice you and gain your interest by offering you amazing energy deals. In this case, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!

Sometimes the deal will seem odd, such as Ofgem offering you energy deals - Ofgem would never contact you directly and offer you energy deals. They would never ask you for personal information such as passwords, pins, and bank account details.

Unexpected Contact

If your energy provider has never called you and they suddenly do - that is something to be wary of. This is particularly true if there is no reason for them to contact you. Having someone claiming to be from your energy approach you in person is also another red flag to watch out for.

Unusual Payment Requests

Scammers will request money in strange ways, such as asking for prepaid credit cards, money orders, or cash. This is typically a sign that someone is trying to trick you. Your energy provider will not ask for payments using any methods other than the ones pre-established.

You Feel Pressured

Scammers depend on panic to push you into parting with money or personal details. They may claim that you are behind on your bills and in danger of being cut off unless you make a payment right away.

This can be pretty stressful, especially if you are behind and scammers depend on this panic to get their way. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into any decisions; take the time to do your own research. Take the time to verify with your provider that they are responsible for contacting you.

Even work-at-home mothers may feel pressured into falling for all kinds of suggestions to help them overcome financial difficulties, of which energy scams are among them. Therefore, they would be wise to give heed to reputable sources that cover legitimate advice on financial assistance and not be victims of all sorts of false flags.

Another tactic that may be used to make you feel panicked is to inform you that changes must be made to your home or business immediately. Usually, these changes will have to do with making your home or business more energy efficient. If you’re looking to make your business more energy efficient, learn more about the various methods currently being implemented in similar industries.

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you feel that something strange is going on. Ask for their name and contact details, and then contact your customer contact centre to verify the identity of the person who has contacted you.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it's still possible to find yourself in this situation even if you are looking for all the signs. What's important is to act fast and contact your bank to make sure that you block any unauthorized payments. Also, contact the police and report this scam to prevent others from falling prey.

Everyone is at risk of falling for one of these schemes, particularly those who are elderly or otherwise vulnerable. It's important to ensure everyone knows what to look out for.

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