14th July 2020

Bogus gas bill scam targets public

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has received evidence of fake gas bills sent to the public via email.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

Fraudulent gas bill emails designed to look like official communications from British Gas, are being sent to members of the public informing them that they owe money.

The message threatens the recipient with a fine if they do not pay up. It reads: “If we do not receive a payment or hear from you in the next two days and we have to contact you again, you will be charged £140 to cover our reasonable costs.”

The email intimidates the reader further by mentioning a potential home visit, stating, “If we have to visit your property to collect this debt you will be charged £540.”

The email then warns that they will “obtain a court warrant” and issue a further fine of £750. Finally, the message then links to a phoney payment page which takes payment details and sends them to scammers.

Katherine Hart, Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “The public should not respond to, or click on any links in these emails. They are simply a tool to steal personal details and money from the recipient.

“The emails usually look very authentic and carry the exact branding of the specific company they mimic – do not be fooled.

“If you are unsure about the validity of an email, contact your supplier and alert them to the message. These messages attempt to panic the recipient so that they act without thinking. Always take five minutes and think.”

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