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Energy saving scammers

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3 November 2022

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Powys residents are being urged by the county council to be on their guard against energy saving scammers.

Reports of elderly residents receiving telephone calls from people claiming to be from energy suppliers or affiliated partners are increasing, Powys County Council has said.

The Trading Standards Institute have received more than 200 complaints about phone calls from the scammers, with the recipient being offered a plug-in gadget, that supposedly cuts electricity use by 40%.

Some of these devices have been tested and have failed to satisfy electrical safety standards, making them unsafe, with the potential to cause a fire or electrocute the user. Testing has also shown that these devices do not deliver any tangible energy savings.

If you, or someone you know has bought one of these devices, stop using it immediately. If you paid for the device on a debit or credit card, you may be able to claim a refund using chargeback or Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Cllr Richard Church, Cabinet Member for a Safer Powys, said: "It's sad to see scammers using the current energy crisis as an opportunity to make money.

"If you know of someone who has been contacted or has one of these devices, please inform them of the dangers.

"We are living in a time where the majority of people are looking for ways to save money where they can and so would be incredibly vulnerable to these scams, especially elderly residents, so I would urge everyone to please be on your guard."

If you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty, contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. Suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.

If you can't agree on a way to pay, need help to claim a refund using chargeback or information on Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ for further assistance.

To report any fraud attempts, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk