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If someone tries to sell you a prepayment meter top-up at the door

This advice applies to England

Criminal gangs are illegally offering prepayment meter top-ups on the doorstep. This is a scam which will end up with you paying twice for your energy.

You should only buy energy top-ups from official outlets such as shops and garages with PayPoint or Payzone, or at the Post Office.

This page explains why doorstep selling of prepayment meter top ups is always a scam, and what you should do if you are caught out.

What does the prepayment doorstep selling scam look like?

No energy company sells top-ups on the doorstep. If someone offers you an energy top-up at your door, it is always a scam.

Usually, someone calls at your home with a tempting offer, such as £50 of electricity meter top-up for a cash payment of just £25.

The criminals use cloned meter keys or cards to top up credit illegally, but energy companies can always detect when they have not received full payment for energy used. This means if you buy a top up on the doorstep you will end up paying twice, first to the criminal and then to your energy supplier.

If someone tries to sell you a prepayment top-up at your door

If anyone offers you an energy top-up at the door, they are trying to involve you in a criminal activity. Never buy anything from them. You should report them to Crimestoppers. You can do this anonymously.

Can you get your money back?

If you have been scammed and bought a top-up on the doorstep, it is highly unlikely you will ever get your money back. You would need to track the person down and take them to court. Even if the court found in your favour, it could be difficult to enforce the seller to give you your money back.

You will still have to pay your supplier for the energy you have used. However, you should still contact your supplier immediately to tell them what has happened. You do not have any claim against your energy supplier.

You can also help to stop the scam happening to other people by reporting the salesman to Action Fraud, which is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. If you want to be anonymous, use the phone number. The online report ask for your name.

Next steps

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