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Scam Ofgem email lures victims with fake energy refunds

Bogus email links to copycat website aimed at harvesting your card details
Person reading energy bill

Fraudsters are posing as the energy regulator to dupe the public into handing over personal and payment details, Which? has learned. 

Emails using the Ofgem logo claim to offer an 'energy bill rebate scheme' worth up to £450 per household, directing recipients to a fake online portal. There, victims are urged to share personal and payment details in order to claim their refund. 

The fake website - rebate-ofgem.com - was registered just days ago, but has already prompted urgent warnings from the real Ofgem. 

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Ofgem energy bill rebate email

Fake Ofgem email offering an energy rebate
Fake Ofgem email offering an energy rebate

The deceptive email comes from - info@rebate-ogem.com - and informs you that 'you are eligible to apply for [sic] energy bill rebate'. It claims you have until the 1 June 2022 to apply and to claim the rebate you must click a link in the email, which takes you to a fake site. 

Copycat Ofgem website asking for personal detail
Copycat Ofgem website asking for personal detail

On arriving at the fake site, victims are confronted with a webform in order to 'set up a direct debit', which initially requests your full name, date of birth and email address.

For the purposes of this investigation, Which? filled in the webform using some false details and found we were further prompted to enter our:

  • Address and postcode
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Payment card details.

Anyone providing these details to the scam site is likely to find their card fraudulently debited and would also be at grave risk of their identity and online accounts being taken over.

Both Which? and Ofgem have reported this scam website to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Which? has also reported it to its domain registrar, but at the time of writing, it remains live.

Find out more about identity theft and how to avoid it.

How to spot a scam energy rebate email

Highlighting the scam on Twitter, the regulator clarified that it 'would never ask for your bank details with regards to energy bills.' 

Legitimate emails from the regulator will always come from an address ending '@ofgem.gov.uk'. The regulator has also published a guide with tips on how to tell genuine Ofgem communications from false ones. 

Scammers have been quick to jump on the government’s £150 energy rebate. Local authorities are administering the rebates and the Local Government Association said councils won’t ask for bank details over the phone. We’ve also seen variations of energy rebate scams being sent by email and text message. Rebates will be issued directly to those who pay via direct debit, if you don’t pay this way then you’ll be contacted via a letter to explain how to claim.

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