Prepaid Electricity Meter Fraud
Criminals across the UK have hacked the new keycard system used to top up pre-payment energy meters and are going door-to-door, dressed as power company workers, selling illegal credit at knock-down prices.
The pre-paid power meters use a key system. Normally people visit a shop to put credit on their key, which they then take home and slot into their meter.
The conmen have cracked the system and can go into people’s houses and put credit on their machine using a hacked key. If they use this, it can be detected the next time they top up their key legitimately.
The system detects the fraud, in that it shows up on audit at a later time. But by then, the criminals are long gone. Clever.
It gets worse:
Conmen sell people the energy credit and then warn them that if they go back to official shops they will end up being charged for the energy they used illegally.
They then trap people and ratchet up the sales price to customers terrified they will have to pay twice something Scottish Power confirmed is starting to happen here in Scotland.
Posted on September 21, 2010 at 1:42 PM • 65 Comments