British Gas energy bill scam
Written by Megan
12th August, 2016
A new scam is targeting people via fake British Gas utility bills. Real looking emails claiming to be from British Gas with a utility bill could contain a virus that will take over your computer. Once the virus is on your computer it locks you out and then directs you to an online payment page. You will then be asked for money to regain access to your computer. The scam is believed to originate in Russia but is targeting hundreds of thousands of British families as well as businesses, schools and hospitals.
How do I spot the scam?
The emails have been described by experts as remarkably authentic. They are sent from an address containing British Gas in the name and the emails contain the correct company branding. Entitled ‘Your summer gas & electricity bill” the email contains the figure you supposedly owe and a date for when it has to be paid. There is then a link to view the bill – do not click on this link! If you click the link you are taken to a website where you are told you can download a file containing your bill. This is the file that contains the virus.
British Gas has told customers that genuine emails are personalised to the customer and will contain their account number. If you are not sure if an email is genuine or not call British Gas (0800 048 0202) to check before you click any links within the email. "Any customer who is concerned about a phishing email can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org" a spokesperson for British Gas stated. The company has closed down one website linked to the ransom scam and is working to shut down the scam completely.