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Don’t be fooled if a government agency or energy company calls up and offers a refund because of the carbon tax repeal. It’s very likely to be a scam.

Scammers claiming to be government officials are now capitalising on the repeal of the carbon tax in a bid to try and gain access to individuals’ private banking details.

According to the competition watchdog’s SCAMwatch unit, scammers are calling and emailing consumers as well as small businesses to offer refunds worth thousands of dollars. According to reports, the sum most often quoted is a refund of $7000.

Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Delia Rickard, said that a number of complaints had now been received about the scam.

“So really be on guard, I mean this is not how the carbon tax is going to be returned from energy companies,” she told the ABC.

“If you get one of these calls, I would just hang up.

“But if you’re in any doubt don’t use their contact details. Independently source them through the phone book, through a Google search and call them that way to check.”

The carbon tax repeal passed the parliament in July and the ACCC has been charged with ensuring that businesses pass on the subsequent cost savings.

Ms Rickard told Fairfax that scammers usually had some of an individuals’ details before making contact and that tax refund scams were common at this time of year.