Martin Lewis issues £400 cost of living payment scam warning to all UK households as energy bills soar

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The MoneySavingExpert founder issued the warning as households start to receive a £400 cost of living payment

Martin Lewis has issued a scam warning to all UK households as the government’s £400 cost of living payment begins to rollout.

The MoneySavingExpert founder warned that scammers posing as the government have been contacting people about the payment in a bid to get their personal details.

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Martin Lewis warned households not to fill in any requests for personal information (Photo: ITV)Martin Lewis warned households not to fill in any requests for personal information (Photo: ITV)
Martin Lewis warned households not to fill in any requests for personal information (Photo: ITV) | ITV

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mr Lewis warned viewers of the circulating scam and urged people not to fill in any requests for personal information.

He said: “If you are contacted about the £66 a month, £400 winter electricity payment, you will be contacted by your energy firm, to give you info about it.

"You will not be asked to fill in any details. You should not fill in any details. If somebody asks you for details, even if it’s look like Gov.uk - or it looks like it is, it really isn’t.

“It is trying to scam you and get your details to data mine you or break into your bank account.

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"Don’t touch them, don’t open them, don’t look at them. Just delete them. Simple as that. Your own firm will contact you but it will not be contacting you for you to do anything. It will just be giving you information."

£400 energy bills discount rolls out

The scam warning comes as households start to receive the first instalment of the government’s £400 energy bills discount this month.

The payment started rolling out to millions across the UK from 1 October and it comes in addition to Prime Minister Liz Truss’ Energy Price Guarantee, which will “freeze” energy bills at £2,500 per year for the average household.

Energy suppliers will deliver the £400 support to households with a domestic electricity meter in six instalments from October.

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A discount of £66 applied will be applied to household energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023.

Households will never be asked for their bank details and those with a domestic electricity connection will not need to apply.

The discount will be issued on a monthly basis regardless of whether consumers pay monthly, quarterly or have an associated payment card. This means that if a person’s housing circumstances were to change during the six-month period, such as those leaving or moving home, they will still benefit from the relevant portion of the total £400.

This also applies to students and other tenants renting properties with domestic electricity contracts from landlords where fixed energy costs are included in their rental charges. In these circumstances, landlords who resell energy to their tenants should pass the discounted payments on appropriately, in line with Ofgem rules to protect tenants.

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All households in England, Scotland and Wales with a domestic electricity connection are eligible to receive the support. Households in Northern Ireland will also receive a £400 discount on electricity bills through the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme (NI EBSS).

Direct Debit customers will receive the discount automatically as a reduction to the monthly Direct Debit amount collected, or as a refund to their bank account following Direct Debit collection during each month of delivery.

Standard credit customers and payment card customers will see the discount automatically applied as a credit to their account in the first week of each month of delivery, with the credit appearing as it would if they had made a payment

Smart prepayment meter customers will see the discount credited directly to their smart prepayment meters in the first week of each month of delivery.

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Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with redeemable vouchers or Special Action Messages (SAMs) in the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post. Customers will need to take action to redeem these at their usual top-up point.

In all cases, no household should be asked for bank details at any point. Ministers are urging consumers to stay alert of potential scams and report these to the relevant authorities where they are suspected.

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