Householders warned over dangerous equipment

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COLD callers offering energy saving devices are leaving residents with potentially dangerous equipment, Trading Standards officers have warned.

Officers from Northumberland County Council are warning people to beware of rouge telephone callers offering the plug-in devices for £99, which they claim can save 40 per cent off energy bills.

Tests on the kit have shown that not only does it not deliver any tangible savings, it also fails electrical safety standards.

And consumers have been warned that the product presents a risk of fire and electrocution.

The scam has come to light after several complaints from residents.

Callers claim to be from either people’s energy supplier, or a firm working with it.

The address they give is a virtual officer provider and the company is not based there, but is likely to be using a call centre abroad, with the appliances distributed by individuals in the UK.

Often consumers do not realise they have been defrauded until they receive the device with instructions in broken English and an invoice for an unknown supplier, often with an American address.

Business and Consumer Protection Manager Jimmy Power said: “These callers have been scamming consumers across the country into paying £99 for the so-called energy saving device.

“The caller always appears very credible by already knowing the consumer’s details, their energy supplier and sometimes some or all of the digits of their credit/debit card.”

If anyone has responded to such a call they should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

They should also contact their bank to stop their card.

If a device has been received, officers say do not use it and dispose of it carefully.