Pre-payment electricity meter users are being warned to watch out for conmen by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), after 188,000 incidents of pre-payment meter fraud were reported in the last 12 months.
Also known as the ‘milk round scam’, the fraud happens when conmen knock on householders’ doors offering discounted electricity credits for their prepayment meters. When the energy supplier discovers the discrepancy, they bill the consumer, meaning victims end up paying twice.
The average cost of the fraud per customer is £80, meaning that the total estimated loss to date is £30 million.
Protect yourself from pre-payment electricity meter fraud:
- only top up your electricity meter keys using approved Paypoint or Payzone outlets
- never believe a cold-caller offering to sell you pre-payment credit - energy companies will never cold call on households offering cash discounts on purchasing top up electricity credits
- remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Energy companies do reclaim their costs in these cases, meaning consumers are left out of pocket.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.