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Doorstep electricity meter credit scams

Some perpetrators work through an organised criminal group to dupe clients. More than three million people in the UK use the system of pre-paid meters, and they have been urged to buy electricity from official outlets and never give money for top-up to someone who knocks at their door. 

In addition, the public has been warned against doorstep fraud, where crooks sell illegal cut-price electricity top-ups through a cloned key that can add credits to the meters. 

How Does It Happen?

In such scams, the criminals use cloned keys to top up the energy credit, and the residents are offered a low-price deal like just £25 for a meter top-up of £50.  

But later, the client finds the money did not reach the energy suppliers, driving them to pay the bills again.

Firms like British Gas, SSE, Npower and others are trying to address the problem, and clients have been offered advisory to generate awareness.  

How To Protect Yourself?

  • If you have paid someone who knocked at your door and offered cut-price electricity top up and if you have paid to them, inform the authorities and call the electricity company and tell them all that happened. 

  • Never buy electricity from someone who knocks at your door. Always buy from official outlets like PayPoint or the Post Office.

  • You can enquire on the top-up website to determine if the money has been added to your account. Suppose you do not see any additional top-up, raise any such concerns and report the incident to the authorities if you suffered a loss.

Date Published: Sep 12, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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