Telephone scams on energy contracts, how to defend yourself

Telephone scams on energy contracts, how to defend yourself
Telephone scams on energy contracts, how to defend yourself

From the January 1, 2023 all Italian families will have to pass by protected regime for electricity and natural gas al free market. For a long time, however, persistent and sometimes fraudulent telephone attempts to get a new contract signed have multiplied. And, unfortunately, they afflict millions (as many as 15, as many as those still in the old protected market) of consumers.

In this article we will illustrate the main techniques used by those who call us to propose a new contract for electricity and / or gas. And we will learn to understand if they are real telephone scams (which many times are perpetrated against Senior citizens) or they are just “aggressive” methods to find new customers.

Enough with telephone scams! Compare the best deals on Tiscali Tagliacosti and save on electricity and gas bills!

The yes scam, how to defend yourself

It is one of the most widespread and insidious. A call center calls you, and with any excuse it tries to extort a “yes” from you. For example: “Hello, is it Mr. Bianchi?”. Since the scammer already knows our data (databases with millions of users circulate on the market) and the surname will obviously be the right one, the unsuspecting victim is led to answer in the affirmative.

That “yes” will be cleverly crafted into the voice recording of the phone call, so that it can be used for the fraudulent activation of a contract.

To defend oneself, one should have the wit to never utter words like “yes” or certain “, but it is understandable that not everyone is so reactive (especially the elderly).

If, following this phone call, a bill arrives from an unknown operator to whom he does not remember having ever given any consent, it is clear that we are facing the crime of fraud (Article 640 of the Criminal Code).

There are two suggestions: 1) file a complaint to the police or directly to the Prosecutor’s Office. On the website of the Studio Cataldi a profit is available fac-simile to print and fill in; 2) send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt disavowing the contract. Possibly by contacting consumer associations, for better support.

The deception of the POD or PDR code

In this case, the shrewd call center operator asks a question like “Hi, could you give me your POD / PDR code? We are carrying out checks on its supply .. “. The POD code (in the case of the supply of electricity) e PDR (gas supply) are alphanumeric codes present in the bills that identify the user.

These codes, unlike the customer codes which may vary from supplier to supplier, they never change. For this reason they are particularly coveted by “pirate” call centers, because they allow, together with fiscal Code, to activate a new contract.

The advice, of course, is to never provide the fraudulent operator with neither POD code, nor PDR, nor tax code or other sensitive data.

The lies used most often

The tricks to extort a contract are endless. Some, however, are particularly popular. For example, if someone calls you, promising immediate savings, beware. At the very least it should ask you how much you are currently spending, what is the cost per kWh that you find in your bill.

Or, instill unmotivated fears by citing the possibility of sanctions if we do not switch to the free market. Or again, claim that the current provider is shutting down and therefore there is a risk of imminent suspension of the service. All lies, of course.

Another widespread unfair commercial practice is to hurry the unfortunate by communicating, with imaginative dates, a imminent transition to the free market. Don’t fall for it: the protected market is already over (from 1 January 2021) only for small businesses and some micro-enterprises, while for families the official date is the January 1, 2023.

There is plenty of time to decide, perhaps by turning to a serious price comparison service such as Tiscali Tagliacosti.

Other tips to defend against fraudulent or aggressive call centers

1) They don’t want each other receive unwanted calls from call centers? You can report your number to Public register of oppositions. Unfortunately, however, at the moment (May 2021) the implementation regulation of Law 5/2018 is still missing, which has extended the possibility of registering also the mobile numbers and fixed reserved. Therefore, if in the past a consumer had given his consent to any company, the affiliates and / or associates will also be able to call him without incurring penalties.

2) You receive a call from an unknown number? Don’t answer right away, but go to a search engine and type in the phone number. Most likely it will have already been surveyed, with negative evaluations. At that point you can not only ignore the call, but also add the number to the blocked list on your mobile. Unfortunately it is an action that leaves the time it finds, because the “pirate” companies can call from hundreds of different numbers.

Alternatively, you can contact ComparaSemplice.it by clicking on the chat on the home page of the site, typing ‘#VerificaCallCenter’ followed by the number from which you were contacted, again followed by your personal mobile number. At that point, a consultant will be activated who will check if the reported number is present in the register of communication operators (roc). You will receive a reply via text message within 36 hours. If the call was made by a call center that is not in good standing, the offer can be rejected and the telephone number blocked.

3) You answer a call and the other side takes a few seconds to talk? They are phone calls made by automated systems of a call center, you can also hang up.

4) Do you agree to speak to the call center operator? Verify its seriousness. He must specify that he is calling from Italy, his name and code, and the company he works for (even more so if it is an agency that works for operators in the sector). If he doesn’t, or he’s evasive, better let it go.

Is the operator too insistent, or even rude? Also in this case, be wary and hang up saying that you want to take time.

Choose the best offer in complete safety via the web

Why sign a contract with an obscure call center operator who offers unclear or even fraudulent offers? The best solution is to rely on a price comparator such as Tiscali Tagliacosti, which compares the offers of the best electricity and gas suppliers on the market.

How to use it? Just click on Cut the BILLS and you go to a page where you only have to provide a few data to compare offers. And also have, if you do not want to proceed independently, a completely free telephone consultation to make a more prudent choice.

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