An ongoing scam involving pre-paid electricity metres has taken in more than 114,000 customers across the U.K, according to a recent report from Energy UK. Everyone with a pre-paid metre is warned to look out for the scammers and report any approach from a salesperson that comes to the door. The phony representative offers householders a reduction in cost such as £50 worth of credit for half that amount in cash.
The scam requires these criminal operators to actually enter the home to get at the electricity metre, which they reset to show the payment amount. However, the legitimate power sources are able to identify the bogus payment, and since the power company never received any money, they bill the householder for the same period anyway.
The gangs seem to be targeting council and housing association homes in the low-income range, and they are reported to be quite believable, as they have I.D. badges and even leave a follow-up phone number. David Picken of Swansea Council Trading Standards said that no bona fide company sells credit door-to-door, so this should be an immediate tip-off.