If you've been offered a gadget to save money on energy bills
Rising costs of gas and electricity mean many people are looking for ways to reduce their bills. Some people have been targeted by people offering to sell bogus energy-saving devices. In many cases these do not save energy and are unsafe.
This page explains how you can spot an energy-saving gadget scam and what you should do if you’ve been caught out.
What does the energy-saving gadget scam look like?
The energy-saving gadget scam usually happens when someone phones or turns up on your doorstep. They say they are from either your energy supplier or a partner. They claim that for around £99 you could buy a plug-in gadget that could slash up to 40 per cent from your electricity bill.
The scammers appear credible. Many will already know your details, such as who your energy company is and part of your credit or debit card number.
In reality, the gadget doesn’t give any practical savings. Tests have also shown that many are unsafe and could result in fire or even electrocution.
If someone tries to sell you an energy-saving gadget
If someone tries to sell you an energy-saving gadget:
- don't buy it
- report them to Action Fraud - the person may be committing a criminal offence.
Report a fraud using the online reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phone on 0300 123 2040. If you wish to report the fraud anonymously, you should use the phone number, as online reports are not anonymous.
If you’ve already bought the gadget
If you’ve been scammed and have bought the gadget
- don't use it or stop using it immediately
- if you gave the person your debit or credit card details, contact your bank and ask them to stop your card.
Can you get your money back?
It is highly unlikely you will be able to get your money back, even if the bogus salesperson or company is caught and convicted. However, you can help stop them scamming other people by reporting them to Action Fraud.
Report a fraud using the online reporting tool at www.actionfraud.org.uk or by phone on 0300 123 2040. If you wish to report the fraud anonymously, you should use the phone number, as online reports are not anonymous.