Utilities against scams

In August we launched a new initiative Utilities Against Scams, introducing the scheme to our Vulnerability Experts.

We are joining a growing number of utility companies who are pledging to raise awareness around the growing issue of scams.

We have pledged to support Utilities Against Scams by offering all customer-facing staff training to become friends against scams, ensuring they can recognise the signs of a scam and can use this knowledge to help customers that may be victims. We’re also reviewing our current processes and customer communications to ensure we continue to be a trusted supplier.

Already in 2021, 36 million Brits have been targeted by a scammer. That’s more than two thirds of adults.

  • While over-55s are most likely to be targeted, those 34 and under are almost five times more likely to fall victim to a scam than their older counterparts.
  • Younger people were most likely to be targeted by text or messaging service (61%), while those over 55 were most likely to be targeted over the phone (73%).

Of all those targeted by a scammer:

  • 54% were about fake deliveries or parcels.
  • 41% were by someone pretending to be from the government.
  • 12% were by someone offering a fake investment or ‘get rich quick’ scheme.

The number of scams reported to Friends Against Scams has more than doubled (123%), while scams via unsolicited emails are up seven-fold (667%) and scams via telephone calls have increased 60%.

Any of us can be a scam victim, but utility companies are uniquely placed to help spot the scammers as our workers can be one of only a few people who enter some people’s homes or speak to them on the phone.

Utility companies can, therefore, play a crucial part in spotting signs that a customer could need support and alerting those organisations who can help.

Our aim is to roll this out over the forthcoming year to all our customer-facing staff.

Find out more information about Friends Against Scams.