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Energy rebate scams on the rise

Logo for Worcestershire Trading Standards Published Friday, 22nd April 2022

Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards team is warning residents about a new scam where cold callers pretend to be helping people claim the Government’s £150 energy rebate.

The Local Government Association has now warned councils that it has become apparent 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 but residents are being reminded that residents that councils will not ask for bank details over the phone.

Simon Wilkes, Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services said, “We’ve not had any reports of this locally yet, but people will need to be on their guard. Telephone scams have become more sophisticated during the pandemic and, as our colleagues at the LGA have said, people of all ages need to be on their guard for this type of approach.”

All households who choose to pay their council tax by direct debit will receive the payment directly into their bank account.

Anyone who does not pay their council tax by direct debit will be sent a letter with details of how to claim their rebate.

Overall, the Coronavirus pandemic saw an increase in scams.

These included promises of a payment from HMRC to support individuals during the lockdown or offers of a vaccination booking for a fee.