August 5, 2022 In Latest, spotting

Stay safe by spotting latest ‘British Gas’ scam email

Aemilius Cupero News:

A scam email purporting to be from British Gas is hoodwinking customers out of their hard-earned cash by using their actual personal details. The Daily Star reports the email, which has been in circulation throughout this year, informs customers that they have an overdue bill for a small amount of cash (normally £18.41).

It then says that if customers don’t pay up they’ll face steep fines up to £540, even threatening a home visit or disconnecting the gas supply. Part of what makes the scam so convincing is that it often uses the actual customer reference number and name.

But there is one clue which reveals it’s a scam, and spotting it can help you avoid being ripped off. The bill typically addresses the email recipient as “Dear customer” or just by a first name.

British Gas always addresses customers by their full name or surname in email correspondence. The company will also never ask a customer to confirm, update, or provide personal info via email.

Rachel McCann, of energy comparison site Selectra, said: “At a time when many people have lost their jobs and are really struggling to make ends meet, this email has caused significant panic, especially among the more vulnerable customers.”

British Gas advises its customers that if they receive a suspicious email pretending to be from the company, they should attach it to a new email and forward it to phishing@britishgas.co.uk. This year British Gas has drastically raised its price cap, along with other utilities companies.

This winter could see prices rocket even further as the energy regulator Ofgem is expected to further increase the cap to £3,420, intensifying the cost-of-living crisis for millions. Meanwhile, Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has increased its profits by more than five-fold this year to £1.34 billion.

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