People usually think of African princes, inherited millions, and strange calls from “Telstra” when they hear the word “scam.” However, it’s important to know that there are many types of scams, and fake electricity bills are one of them. Billy Explores is here to help, and has made a guide to help you spot a scam when it comes to your electricity bill before it’s too late. We’re also here to help all Aussies save money from both scams and on your energy bill.
Fake energy bills seem to be the scam of the month right now, and many energy companies are warning customers about recent phone and door-to-door scams that have happened all over the country. Scams have also been done through email, SMS, and the mail in the past.
Even if you’re pretty sure you can spot and avoid a scam, it’s usually harder to think calmly and critically when someone is on the phone demanding your money and threatening to turn off your electricity. Even the most careful people can get ripped off, so we wanted to give you some tips on how to spot a fake bill and avoid getting ripped off. Even though this article is mostly about energy bills, many of the tips are also good for avoiding other types of scams.
What is an electricity bill scam?
In an electricity bill scam, someone pretends to be from a reputable energy company and tells you that you have to pay a past-due electricity or gas bill right away. This can happen through a phone call, an email, or even someone coming to your door. Sometimes they say they are a third party and offer to pay your electricity bill at a lower rate or ask for your bank information so they can deposit a Government rebate.
But no scam will be perfect, and if you look closely enough, there will always be something that gives it away.
Things To Watch Out For
Scammers are getting smarter and smarter. Some of them can even copy the caller ID on your phone to make it look like the call is coming from your energy provider. Here are three signs that the person you’re talking to is not from the real company:
- If you don’t pay, they say they will turn off your electricity right away or within an hour.
- Your agreement with the energy company isn’t clear, and they can’t give you any specifics.
- The way of payment asked for is not common, like a money transfer or prepaid debit card.
How to avoid getting ripped off
It can be hard to tell if something is a scam or not, but there are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of doing so.
Pay your bills on time
Scam artists try to take advantage of people’s lack of knowledge. They’re like sharks, and uncertainty makes them feel like there’s blood in the water. If they can tell, they’ll do everything they can to get you to give in. How can you get rid of any doubts you might have about your energy bills? Of course, keep up with them!
You should pay any bills you get as soon as you can, and if you can’t, you should at least know what the balance is. This will make it impossible for scammers to ask you for money they made up on the spot, because you’ll know better.
Don’t give anything to them
In the beginning of a scam, it can be hard to tell if the person on the other end of the text, email, or phone call is real or not. Don’t tell them anything about yourself until you know for sure that they are who they say they are, or that they are not. Keep everything locked up, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and your energy provider’s account number.
Even if you don’t fall for the scam, there are times when giving out certain pieces of personal information can be just as bad.
Contact your provider
Say you got a suspicious-sounding text, email, or phone call from your energy company. What’s the best way to find out if it’s real? Call your service provider! They will be able to clear up any confusion about the messages and confirm whether or not they came from them. Even though it seems obvious, a lot of people miss this one simple point when they’re not sure if they got a fake bill or not. It’s also important to let your provider know about these problems so they can let other customers know.
Common sense never hurt
Remember that no scam is ever foolproof. There will always be something about the scam that makes it seem shady, even if just a little bit. You might be asked to pay an energy bill that you know for sure has already been paid. The message might not even be from the energy company you use.
People tend to panic when they see a scam, which makes them lose their common sense. If you can keep your cool and think about the situation calmly and critically, you should be able to spot a scam and keep your hard-earned money.
Compare Energy Providers
Unfortunately with scams it will be the same for all energy providers, including Energy Australia vs AGL. So, when comparing energy providers, it’s a good idea to compare through Billy Explores. You can save time and effort and explore potential savings on your energy bill through Billy Explores (just don’t forget about Alinta Energy and pay your bill!)
Compare Now Through Billy Explores
The best thing about Billy is that it’s so easy to start comparing whatever you need to compare (energy, health insurance or life insurance). You can also easily find the best life insurance in Australia in 2022 and compare life cover through our panel of providers. Then why not start to compare health insurance Australia? Finally why not compare AGL and Energy Australia through Billy Explores and see if you’re getting the best value electricity and energy deal for your needs. Start a health insurance comparison or compare life cover today.
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