Energy flat rate causes nasty fraud: Consumers should urgently be careful

Energy flat rate causes nasty fraud: Consumers should urgently be careful
Energy flat rate causes nasty fraud: Consumers should urgently be careful

The 300 euros of the energy flat rate comes automatically for pensioners. Anyone who wants account information over the phone or by email is a scammer.

Dortmund – The grandchild trick is not a new scam, and yet it is still being used successfully with unsuspecting pensioners. The energy flat rate now offers the fraudsters completely new opportunities, because many people in Hamburg are still waiting for the government to compensate them for the increased energy costs. That’s why many of those affected are now receiving emails or calls claiming that they have to enter their account details again in order to receive the energy flat-rate. Such messages are fraud, reports!

relief package 3 energy flat rate
beneficiaries Pensioners resident in Germany
Paid by German pension insurance
total 300 Euro
payout date 1st to 15th December with the pension

Fake mails from the authorities: Fraud with an energy allowance for pensioners

“The government has decided that you will receive a refund of 278.35 euros. Click here to receive payment.” Anyone who receives an email or SMS with this or a similar text should do one thing: delete and block!

The messages that many consumers are receiving right now are a scam that either puts a virus on your computer or gives scammers access to your bank account. The supposed sender is, for example, the Federal Office of Finance or your own bank. The Saarland consumer advice center warns against not responding to such messages. Incidentally, several campaigns are currently calling for donations of the energy flat rate – pensioners also benefit.

The energy flat rate apparently also attracts fraudsters.

© Michael Gstettenbauer/Imago; Bihlmayer photography/Imago; Collage: RUHR24

Because no matter how real the emails look, they are fake – just like the fake calls from Europol recently. For the energy flat rate, nobody needs to enter their data anywhere. The 300 euros from the lump sum come automatically with the salary or pension, without the consumer having to take any extra action. Students will soon also receive an energy allowance.

Fraud on the phone: New version of the grandchild trick for an energy flat rate

According to the German pension insurance, it is currently more and more common for pensioners to be called on the same pretext. The fraudsters at the other end of the line then claim that they need the account details again or have to compare them in order to transfer the energy flat rate. It’s the same principle as the grandchild trick or “Hello Mom” ​​messages on What’s App.

The same applies here: don’t fall for it! Anyone who draws a pension automatically receives the 300 euros of the lump sum from the pension insurance, because they already have the account details of the pension recipients. So there’s no reason to repeat them over the phone. These calls come from scammers who sometimes cheat their victims out of millions.

Anyone who notices too late that there is a scammer on the other end of the line and has already released data should then hang up and inform the police and their own bank. Amounts collected unlawfully can usually be recovered from the financial institutions.

Energy flat rate for pensioners: 300 euros will come in December 2022

Employees and the self-employed already received the 300 euros of the energy flat rate in September. Either the money came with the salary from the employer to the end consumer, or the self-employed and freelancers benefited from a reduction in the income tax prepayment. So far, pensioners have been left empty-handed because they are not employed.

The federal government’s third relief package has now changed that. Pensioners should now also benefit from the energy flat rate, which is paid out via the German pension insurance. The payment date for the energy flat rate for pensioners is December 1st, but no later than December 15th. Recipients of pension money therefore have to do nothing more than wait for the one-off payment to be received – and some pensioners can even collect the energy flat rate twice. The only exception is retirees, who will also receive their first pension payment in December 2022. For technical reasons, the payment may take a little longer for them, but will also be made automatically in the new year.

The only catch: Pensioners also have to pay tax on the 300 euros of the energy flat rate and take it into account in income tax. The lower the tax, the more of the lump sum remains. Anyone who stays below the allowance even benefits from the entire amount.

List of rubrics: © Michael Gstettenbauer/Imago; Bihlmayer photography/Imago; Collage: RUHR24

The article is in German

Tags: Energy flat rate nasty fraud Consumers urgently careful

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