William Eichler 19 April 2022

Council chiefs warn of energy rebate scam

Council chiefs warn of energy rebate scam  image
Image: Daisy Daisy/Shutterstock.com.

Local authority leaders are warning residents about a new scam where cold callers pretend to be helping people claim the Government’s £150 energy rebate.

The pandemic saw an increase in scams which included promises of a payment from HMRC to support individuals during the lockdown or offers of a vaccination booking for a fee.

However, councils are now warning that criminals are cold calling residents asking for bank details in order for them to receive the Government’s energy rebate.

The rebate was announced earlier this year, amid the rising cost of energy bills. Payments are being administered by local authorities for all households in council tax bands A to D.

The Local Government Association (LGA) reminded residents that councils will not ask for bank details over the phone.

All households who pay council tax by direct debit will receive the payment directly into their bank account and anyone who does not pay their council tax by direct debit will be sent a letter with details of how to claim.

‘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,’ said Cllr Mohan Iyengar, vice-chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board.

‘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.

‘If you get sent a message that you believe to be fraudulent, you can report it to your mobile phone provider or by forwarding the message to 7726, a free reporting service provided by phone operators. You should also report the scam to Action Fraud to help others avoid falling victim in the future.’

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