Isle of Wight Council Trading Standards is warning residents who use electricity meter top up keys of a national scam that has already affected some 85,000 households.
People are knocking on doors claiming to be from energy firms and offering to sell home owners a top up key, typically with £50 credit, for half the price. Although the keys do have the extra electricity credit, they are cloned and are illegal.
Energy companies can detect when a cloned key is used and the key may subsequently become invalid, meaning the home owner will lose their money and have to pay again to top up their genuine key.
The scam has involved customers of all the leading energy companies, including British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower and Southern Electric.
Residents are advised to always top up their keys at official outlets. These are shops offering PayPoint or Payzone and also at the Post Office.
Companies will never sell electricity top ups at the door and a national industry communications campaign has launched. Firms are also telephoning and writing to their customers to alert them to the dangers.
Anyone who feels they may have become a victim of this scam can contact Isle of Wight Council Trading Standards on (01983) 823396.