Trading standards officers urge residents to beware of energy saving scam
Following complaints from local residents Monmouthshire’s trading standards service is urging consumers to be aware of rogue telephone callers offering energy saving devices.
These cold callers - claiming to represent energy suppliers or to work in partnership with them - offer a plug-in device which they state cuts 40 per cent from energy bills. However, after testing, the appliance failed to satisfy electrical safety standards and did not deliver any tangible energy savings. Consumers are warned not to use the product as it poses a risk of fire and electrocution.
Trading standards officers advise that unscrupulous criminals take advantage of rising energy prices to lure cash strapped consumers, with elderly people deliberately targeted. In duping people across the country into paying £99 for each device these fraudsters appear to be credible salespersons as they possess details of consumers' energy suppliers and credit cards. Often, consumers only discover the scam when they receive the suspect device with instructions in broken English and an accompanying invoice from an unknown supplier with an American address.
Consumers who respond to these cold calls should report the matter to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or the Citizens Advice Consumer Services helpline on 0845404 0506. They should also contact their bank to stop their debit/ credit card. If a device has been received they should dispose of it carefully.
Consumers should be cautious about giving out any personal or financial information and should independently verify a caller's identity before agreeing to purchase goods or services.