Electricity and gas scams, the dangers for consumers increase with the pandemic

Worrying growth in online scams

Scams fraud and deception online are constantly on the rise. This is indicated by the data provided by police post. In 2020 these crimes doubled compared to 2019, reaching record at 95mila casi.

The phenomenon knows no pauses or declines since the trend for the current year anticipates a further increase in the number.

Moreover in these times of sanitary emergency online activities have multiplied, so that the risks of falling victim to scams and scams have also become increasingly concrete and frequent.

Furthermore, in the absence of effective regulatory measures, there is an evident situation of confusion and anarchy that grants the malicious people spaces and opportunities to carry out fraudulent behaviors in a context that is very favorable to them.

Electricity and gas scams, how to recognize them and defend yourself

Currently, in conjunction with the liberalization of the energy market and the increase in energy and natural gas suppliers, it is precisely these who end up in the crosshairs of scams energy supplies.

In recent years, an enormous mass of commercial offers from these has reached consumers new managers vying for the favor of potential customers.

Unfortunately this important transition sadly brought with it a increase in scams perpetrated in various ways and forms. Especially the elderly and those who do not have a sufficient familiarity with the Web behind them are at the expense.

Diligently following the timely suggestions published on the Net by official or otherwise reliable sources, together with a good dose of prudence, are the most effective countermeasures to recognize and defend against incorrect and fraudulent behavior.

Phishing leads to illegal practices

The phishing it finds intense application to scams involving electricity and gas bills and is an increasingly widespread danger in times of pandemics.

In practice it is a type of scam carried out on the Internet through which an attacker tries to deceive the victim by convincing them to provide personal information, financial data or access codes, posing as a reliable subject in a digital communication.

The activity takes the form of mass sending of messages that imitate, in appearance and content, legitimate messages from service providers. Such fraudulent messages require you to provide confidential information such as, for example, the card number credit or the password to access a particular service.

For the most part it is a scam perpetrated using messages from email, but it can also exploit other means, such as, for example, messages SMS.
In this case it is called smishing.

Door-to-door and call center scams

Still on the subject of electricity and gas scams, although outclassed by digital ones, the scam methods have not completely disappeared traditional. Or those through call center or the door to door system.

The intent is always the same: the activation of new unsolicited electricity and gas contracts. As he warns SosTariffe with one of his press releases, the goal is pursued in different but invariably deceptive ways.

The “Yes scam” it is among the most widespread. It consists in artfully carrying out a telephone conversation with the on-hook user. During the interview he is induced to pronounce words and expressions of the type “Yes I confirm ” which will then be used to mount a recording that will simulate the user’s will to sign the proposed contract.

The rather antiquated scam still resists door to door which in many respects follows that of the call center. In this case, the prospect of accessing advantageous and unrepeatable rates is raised.

A very common variant is the scam del fake debt collector, in which the scammer asks for the payment of overdue bills to avoid the consequences of non-payment.

Fraud against bank customers: increasingly refined techniques

Unfortunately, these creditors of electricity and gas services can independently activate the Sepa Direct Debit (SDD), an electronic payment tool that allows you to withdraw sums them directly from the bill current.

I bank customers they are understandably privileged targets of fraud attempts. They were before the pandemic and continue to be today, even more frequently due to the pandemic that has led to many more people shopping and banking online.

The techniques for deceiving the less astute have however become more and more refined: the email on phishing, previously quite recognizable, are now faithful reproductions than the original ones that we normally receive from the bank.

What must be taken into account, however, is the fact that the bank never sends messages where you are prompted to click on a link to connect to your private area, and that also it does not contact your own customers to obtain credentials access codes or operational codes.

Therefore, if you were to be faced with such requests, the correct behavior would be to not adhere to them and consult your bank.

PSD2 European directive on payment services

We conclude the article with a brief summary on the European directive on payment services PSD2.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 e-commerce recorded a significant increase in online sales in Italy with about 2 million more buyers than the previous year.

This, which seems an excellent result compared to that of other European countries, places Italy below the European average. This happens because shoppers still feel insecure and have a lot of reservations about entering their personal and banking details online.

A mistrust that to varying degrees affects the countries of the entire continental area and which is not entirely unmotivated since online payment fraud still counts in the millions.

Faced with this rather alarming situation, theEuropean Union finally with the Payment Services Directive (PSD2): a regulation for the security of digital payments, which obliges the use of the so-called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) o strong authentication.

As can be seen from the website of the Bank of Italy it is a procedure to validate the identification of a user based on the use of two or more authentication elements (two-factor authentication), belonging to at least two categories of the following:

  • knowledge (something that only the user knows, such as a password or PIN);
  • possession (something that only the user has, such as a token / key, or a smartphone);
  • inherence (something that characterizes the user, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition).

Source: LAVORINCASA.it by www.lavorincasa.it.

*The article has been translated based on the content of LAVORINCASA.it by www.lavorincasa.it. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!