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Cybercrime warning to British Gas customers

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British Gas is warning customers to look out for scam emails. The cybercrime warning relates to fake emails promising hundreds of pounds in refunds.

A link in the emails takes you to a website that looks exactly like the British Gas site. The site asks people to input their details to have their money "refunded". However, the website is a clone and any customer who enter their details is giving scammers access to their account. British Gas has warned its customers that falling for the scam could leave them hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

A British Gas spokesperson has said that anyone concerned about a suspicious email can forward it to phishing@centrica.com so that the company can look into it further.

What can you do to protect yourself from cybercrime and scams?

Here are some quick tips to keep you safe from this type of scam:

  • Don't assume an email, text or phone call is authentic. Just because someone knows some personal information about you (i.e. your mother's maiden name), that doesn't mean they are genuine
  • When responding to emails, never give your login or personal details
  • Know that legitimate organisations would never contact you and ask you to confirm your login information
  • Don't be rushed into handing over personal or financial information. If something doesn't feel right listen to your instincts
  • Always question who you're talking to. If in any doubt call them back using trusted contact details to check the request is genuine
  • If you detect a phishing email, mark the message as spam and delete it. This ensures that the message cannot reach your inbox in future
  • Emails that start 'Dear Customer' are unlikely to be genuine. But, even if your personal details are included, this doesn't mean that the communication is real
  • Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text. Even unsubscribe links can be malicious
  • Know that even if an email address appears genuine, this is not a guarantee that it came from the person or organisation that it claims to
  • Any warnings such as 'failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed' should start alarm bells ringing
  • Be aware who you're sharing your personal information with. Only give out details to a service you trust and that you've contacted directly or are expecting to be contacted by. Even then, do not hand over sensitive information such as PINs or passwords
  • Make sure you look at the address bar when logging into a website. If there is a padlock icon your connection is secure. Where a site doesn't have this lock icon, do not share any sensitive information
  • If you're worried that you may be at risk, report it to the Police or Action Fraud straight away.

Get digitally aware

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we want to reduce the number of data violations and successful cyber scams taking place across the UK. To do this, we are raising awareness of this issue and educating people to help stop fraudsters in their tracks.

For more advice on how to keep safe, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Alternatively, if you have been the victim of an online scam, contact us find out how we can help you to recover any losses.