Techniques scammers use to fool you

Posted: 22nd June 2022

Here are ways they trick you time and time again…

It’s a difficult time for everyone at the moment. Inflation is at a 40-year high. And everyday essentials like food, energy and fuel are more expensive than ever. We’re all worried about money, and scammers are taking advantage of this. They’re using the energy crisis to make money. They’re looking for new ways to exploit people, but the techniques they use are tried and tested.

It’s important to be #ScamAware, and stop and think about whether you might be about to be a victim of an energy scam. Here are techniques scammers use time and time again…


Is someone trying to make you feel scared about your energy being cut off? Scammers use fear of a serious consequence to make you act without thinking. The fear persuades you not to check whether something is a scam as carefully as you would normally do.


Has someone offered you a special tariff, but only if you act quickly? Urgency is another tool in the scammers’ kit. They’ll offer you a good deal you feel you can’t afford to miss. So you end up clicking on a link, or giving your personal details without thinking.

Current affairs

Has someone asked you to hand over a few details so you can get the rebate that you’ve heard about in the papers? Scammers know what’s in the news. They design their scams around the stories that people have been hearing about. It makes people more likely to act. They’ll be more open to a random message about something they’ve already heard about. For example, a message about getting council tax energy rebate.

Authority figures

Have you had ‘official’ communication from Ofgem about switching your account? It won’t be genuine. Ofgem never would never sell people energy. They’d never ask for personal information or come to a property. If scammers pretend to have authority people are less likely to ask questions. They think they can trust the organisation who is supposed to have contacted them.

How do I report scams?

This depends on what type of scam it is. Online scams use the internet. For example, social media, emails and websites. You can report online scams through our Scams Action Service.

Offline scams don’t use the internet — for example, doorstep or telephone scams. You can report an offline scam to us and we’ll let Trading Standards know. Call the Citizens Advice consumer service.