Hackney a hotspot for electricity meter scam

Cut-price doorstep electricity scam targets the vulnerable

A scam involving criminal gangs offering cheap electricity to residents using cloned meter keys is on the rise in Hackney.

More than 3,600 cases have already been recorded in Hackney where residents have bought fake top-ups from fraudsters on their doorstep, making it the sixth worst affected London borough.

The rogue traders need to be allowed into the home to access the electricity meter, putting the resident in danger.

And customers who have succumbed to the scam have found themselves paying twice after electricity suppliers detected the fraud.

They have reported threatening behaviour, and police have also made arrests in connection with the activity.

Chief Inspector Jane Easton, head of Hackney’s Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, said: “We regularly urge residents to be wary of unsolicited doorstep callers and the message of this campaign is clear: don’t buy electricity meter top-ups at the doorstep.”

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Audrey Gallacher, head of energy at customer awareness group Consumer Focus, said: “Although it might seem like an easy way to save money, not only will you be letting a criminal into your home, you will end up having to pay twice.”

Customers have been urged to buy their electricity meter top-ups from official PayPoint and Payzone retailers or the Post Office to avoid disappointment.

Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.