British Gas scam could drain your bank account – beware red flags

Cost of living scams: Expert reveals what to look out for

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Scammers are taking advantage of the cost of living crisis and impersonating energy providers to trick people into sharing their personal details. Which? has issued a warning to billpayers after it received complaints about a scam email pretending to be from British Gas.

Fraudsters are sending out emails purporting to be from British Gas offering people a refund of £315 to help people pay their energy bills.

The fake email can seem genuine as it uses the official British Gas logo and branding, however a red flag is that it’s not addressed to a specific person, just an email address.

Although the email doesn’t ask people for cash, just sharing one’s personal information could help scammers drain people’s bank accounts.

Which? said the email scam offers a refund of £315, claiming to be for an overpayment of energy from 2020 to 2021.

The email reads: “British Gas wants to inform you that you are eligible for a payment refund.

“Our records indicates [sic] that you have paid more than you should have for your British Gas service from 2020 – 2021.

“Because of this reason and that we value our clients we have decided to refund the total amount which you have overpaid.”

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Fraudsters are increasingly posing as banks, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the DWP.

It recently issued a scam warning because more people are being targeted. 

“You do not need to apply for the payment. You do not need to call us.”

On the British Gas website it says: “It’s not always easy to spot phishing emails.

“These online scams appear to be from legitimate companies and link through to fake websites asking you to enter your personal information.

“They can often be very sophisticated and convincing, so it’s important to know what to look for.

“If you’re in doubt over any email claiming to be from us, don’t click any links.”

It continues: “Please attach it to a new email and send it to [email protected]

“Then delete it straight away.”

Fraud now accounts for more than a third (39 percent) of all crime according to figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for 2021.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Express readers. In March we wrote about the scale of the scamdemic after one of our reporters was targeted three times online.

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