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Origin issues warning for 4.2 million customers

Origin energy sign. Australian people walking.
Origin is warning customers about a new SMS scam that tries to steal their payment details. (Source: Reuters/Getty)

Origin customers are being targeted by a new SMS scam that tries to steal their payment details, with the energy provider urging its 4.2 million customers to be on alert.

The scam text message tells customers they have an unpaid account and directs them to a fake Origin website. From here, the customer is asked to enter their Origin details and payment information.

“We are aware of a current phishing scam targeting Origin customers through a fake SMS that attempts to trick customers into clicking on a link that directs them to a website that looks like ours,” Origin Energy head of retail Jon Briskin said.

The main red flag is that Origin Energy is misspelled as ‘Originnergy’ in the text message.

Origin has urged customers “exercise caution” when clicking on links and to never reply to text messages with personal details, including credit card or bank account details.

Customers who have received the scam message and provided their details have been asked to contact their bank immediately to alert them.

Origin scam text message.
The scammers have misspelt Origin Energy. (Source: Origin Energy)

“If they use the same password for other online platforms, they should consider resetting them also,” Briskin said.

The only “safe and trusted” way for Origin customers to pay bills online was through My Account, the Origin app or originenergy.com.au, Briskin said.

“Anything asking you to make an Origin payment outside of those could be a scam,” he said.

“If in doubt, customers should contact us directly to enquire if a message is legitimate.”

Scams on the rise

Aussies are expected to lose $4 billion to scams in 2022, according to estimates by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Scamwatch received more than 166,000 reports between January and September this year, amounting to more than $425.8 million in total losses.

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