Trading Standards issue warning on energy bill and cost-of-living scammers

Trading Standards issue warning on energy bill and cost-of-living scammers


The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is issuing its starkest warning yet about a significant rise in energy scams linked to the cost-of-living crisis and increased consumer vulnerability. CTSI believes there is an urgent need for a strategy to inform, protect and warn consumers amid the crisis, especially as over 40 million people have been targeted by scammers last year, according to Citizens Advice.

Trading Standards experts are concerned about:

  • scam energy rebate text messages
  • energy tariff mis-selling by doorstep sellers
  • loan sharks preying on the most vulnerable affected by the cost-of-living crisis

CTSI Lead Officer for Scams and Doorstep Crime, Katherine Hart. said: “There has been a huge surge in energy efficiency scams offering rebates and offers to apply for grants. With the rise of costs in fuel bills and the cost-of-living concerns during the upcoming winter months, I urge the public to be on its guard because these types of emails and texts are attempts to scam.

“We see some of the texts or emails ask people to click on a link that takes them to an official booking platform where they are asked to submit personal information. This is a ruse to data harvest, often to scam the person at a later date. Sadly, we have noticed an increase in people whose savings have been compromised. I also expect that scammers will target households in the coming weeks regarding the £150 Disability Cost of Living payment. Those being paid a qualifying disability benefit will be paid automatically from 20 September, with the vast majority of those eligible expected to receive their one-off payment within a couple of weeks by the beginning of October. If consumers receive emails or texts out of the blue, then report texts to 7726, emails to and delete the message.”

CTSI Lead officer for Energy, Smart Meters and Climate Change, Steve Playle, said: “The end of September marked the last day before the next domestic energy cap came into force. I think the cap is confusing to many as £2500 is not the maximum anyone will pay per annum but is the maximum for an average consumption household. This means you can still pay a lot more if you use more.

Energy is continually in the news, so consumers are more likely to be aware of the pricing issues and the rebates that are available – £400 over the next 6 months. Consumers do not need to do anything – the rebate will be applied automatically by their energy company. Therefore, as always, ignore any messages and only deal directly with your energy company using their published phone numbers and email addresses.”

Report a scam

To report a scam to the UK authorities, please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or fill in an online report via their website here.

If you believe you have been affected by any of the scams above, please call the IGA Member Helpline on 01788 225 908 or email us at so we can make other members aware of what is happening.