Solved

Why did you email me to advise about a Direct Debit renewal, after I went on to new online account?


Received an email this evening allegedly from OVO saying that I may be receiving notice from my bank that OVO has renewed my Direct Debit and that whilst the monthly payment will remain the same the date will change.  It then ask me to sign in so that OVO can check my email address. Whilst I deleted this email on opening my OVO app on my mobile a message appears that I can't sign in until I have changed my pass word.  Cant contact OVO until Monday but just ask if any OVO customer has received a similar message. Could be a scam or has OVOs site been hacked.  

icon

Best answer by Tim_OVO 1 June 2020, 17:24

Quick reply here from me, thanks for flagging, @Smudger @CassR 

 

Please be aware that we do send out an email, as you mention, after your online account is upgraded to the new version. This is to let you know that the DD has been migrated, it’s still the same amount, but may have a new payment date if the migration happened too close to the original payment date, and will have a new ref number. 

 

There’s no action you need to take off the back of this, but you can view and change the amount online. 


T

View original

10 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

That doesn’t sound right @Smudger. Thanks for posting this here on the Forum.

Let me just clarify the law and some other matters:

 

1: A Direct Debit is a time-limited Mandate in which you instruct your bank to allow a 3rd-party (OVO) to take money from the account you specify.

If you suspect there is a Scam then you should immediately inform the Fraud Dept of your Bank.

 

2: It isn’t necessary for OVO to have been hacked in order for a Scammer to send such an email. The email-header can be spoofed to make it appear to have been generated by OVO.

 

3: It is good practice to change your passwords from time to time anyway. However, in case your Smartphone has been compromised, I’d suggest you attempt this from another device such as a PC. You’ll then be accessing your OVO Account via the browser rather than an App.

You may wish to not even attempt a password change until Monday morning when OVO’s offices are open again. But as you’ve already just tried to login using your correct password (and been rejected) you might feel that you’d rather not wait that long. There is a chance, however small, that a Scammer has already siezed that password and is busy trying it out on other possible sites you use, such as Ebay, Paypal, Amazon etc.

 

4: Never click on a link in a suspicious email. It may appear to take you to the OVO site so you can log-in, but this can be a mirage, by which a Scammer simply lifts your login ID & Password before passing you on to the real site. This leaves you unaware that your password has been stolen.

 

5: When you delete an email, it normally doesn’t actually delete the text, but instead moves the message into a “Bin”. This means you can retrieve it and have another look at it.

Both your Bank or OVO may wish to ask you about this. There are details which tend to give away whether it’s a Scam or not, such as:

  • Does it greet you by name?
  • Does it state your correct Account Number?
  • Does it show the Registered Address of the company (OVO Energy Ltd. 1 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6ED) and Company Registration Number (06890795). This is a requirement of the Companies Act 2016.
  • Does it have a credible date/time stamp? Eg if it reads 07/05/2020 17:28 +0530 then it originates from an Indian timezone (5hrs 30mins ahead of us).
  • Does it contain any spelling mistakes or American spellings? Scammers often don’t have a good enough command of English to get everything right.

 

We actually have some well qualified computer specialists here on the Forum who may have further insights. Let me just tag @ITGeek123 and see if he wants to add anything.

Finally, please post again here if you’d like any further help or clarification.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Just following up my own post… and the last bullet of Point-5 in particular:

A note to the Moderators (@Tim_OVO, @Nancy_OVO and the others)…

It would useful if you would pass on to staff who send out customer announcements, that having correct grammar, punctuation and spelling is very important. It’s more than just a matter of projecting the right corporate image.

As the above case shows, these literary tools are becoming increasingly important in the fight against Spammers and Scammers.

In the last six months I’ve received written communication from OVO Staff who wrote “their” when it should have been “they’re”, and “login to your account” when it should have been “log into your account”.

These are precisely the sort of mistakes which a scammer will make. Whenever I see such errors, the warning bells sound in my head, and I start checking email headers etc.

If it’s possible to put this feedback into an in-house newsletter, then please do so.

Thanks.

I have received this email as well. It appears to be linked to the updates to the website and app. In my account on the genuine website it's currently showing as no direct debit set up which is slightly worrying as the next one is due on the 3rd. Would be interested to hear if others have had similar issues.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Well that’s a relief @CassR as it makes it less likely to be a Scam.

I don’t think it’s your worry. But it’s going to be a headache for OVO on Monday morning.

I suggest you take no action in the meantime. You really shouldn’t be receiving emails asking for you to sign something when you already have a “live” Direct Debit instruction with your bank.

Historically OVO have always started contracts on particular dates during the month. This was also used as the monthly DD payment date for obvious reasons.

But the new Accounts system now calculates daily totals, and delivers Monthly Statements at the end of each calendar month, regardless of your contract-date.

So as an example, if I start a new gas contract on 10th February, the results look like this:

By the end of March, the new Billing System will have given me two Statements instead of one.

 

It’s possible that the new Billing System doesn’t support all the previous set of Contract Start-dates, so it’s requesting some customers to change the payment date of their DD. Even so, you shouldn’t have two active DD’s in favour of the same payee.

 

We’ll get a Moderator to respond to this on Monday morning once we know who’s on duty.

In the meantime I’m going to tag @Tim_OVO because it’s possible he’ll pick this up over the weekend. I’ll also tag @Cassie_OVO so she can read what we’ve said, but don’t expect her to reply back here.

Userlevel 7

Quick reply here from me, thanks for flagging, @Smudger @CassR 

 

Please be aware that we do send out an email, as you mention, after your online account is upgraded to the new version. This is to let you know that the DD has been migrated, it’s still the same amount, but may have a new payment date if the migration happened too close to the original payment date, and will have a new ref number. 

 

There’s no action you need to take off the back of this, but you can view and change the amount online. 


T

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

OK @Tim_OVO 

So why was @Smudger ‘s email saying that the date will change?

Why did @CassR ‘s online account report that no DD was set up?

Why was @Smudger asked to change password?

Something’s not happening correctly, even if the email is meant purely as a notification.

Userlevel 7

Good point, @Transparent. I’ve updated my reply to advise that DD dates might change if the migration took place too close to the original payment date (payments take longer to set up then they do to cancel). 

 

As for password reset issues for @Smudger and the email advising about @CassR DD being cancelled, I’m not sure. These will likely need someone to check their account directly. I wouldn’t want to guess and miss advise them or anyone with a similar issue. You can reach us on FacebookTwitter and our Help centre has online chat!

 

It would be super handy to hear back from you both, once you know what the latest is. That way, others will know whether they need to reach out to us directly or not. 

 

T

Thanks for all the help I have received.  I think OVO must review their system of updating customers with such an email I received just after 1800hrs on a Friday evening. On receiving the email I was concerned and worried  that it may be a scam or the system either mine or OVOs had been hacked.  OVO were unavailable as they are closed for the weekend so I was left in such a situation as described. When Monday arrived and getting onto Customer  Serviced they confirmed that it was  an OVOs email and had been sent out due to setting up a new system.  This also involved the password issue.   Whilst Customer Services were most helpful I feel more thought should be made when sending such emails and avoid out of hours.  I did query why a friend, who is a customer of OVO, had not received such an email and was informed that they were sent out in batches. This means,  as a customer, you are likely to received such an email in the future.  Many thanks to you all for your comments and support, especially through the weekend.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Those are good points, well made, @Smudger.

From what @Tim_OVO wrote above, it would be worthwhile you sending an email to them to ask why the App required you to first change your password. It would be good to know if that is a generic issue/error, or whether there are other users who will be equally worried when they receive that email as a batch.

(They need your Account number to check this, which is why Tim suggests you make direct contact).

Such a message really does come across as a scam… especially if it’s received on a Friday just after OVO have closed for the weekend.

As she’s duty Moderator today, can we ask @Eva_OVO to find a way to relay this feedback to a relevant person?

There doesn’t really seem to be a good reason why mass emailing should occur at all on a Friday. There must be adequate time for customers to contact Customer Services if something appears to be wrong.

Userlevel 6

Good point well made, @Smudger, I’ll feed this back! 

Reply