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What is it?

The meter bypass scam is a dangerous, but tempting scam for many utility customers. This is done by either installing a bypass device or a meter that has been altered or by directly connecting the service line wires before the meter to the house. In this way, the homeowner will still get power without (some of) it being metered. This is dangerous both during the installation itself as well as afterwards.

How does it work?

A salesperson will typically work a neighborhood and go door to door. They will promise the homeowner that they can reduce their electric bill by 50% or more. The sales pitch will depend on the salesman and the honesty/naïveté of the homeowner. Sometimes the salesman will be upfront about what he plans to do and other times they will use more technical terms the homeowner doesn’t understand. They will sometimes claim that the device they are selling will reduce energy consumption because it can “clean the power” or “put the electricity in phase”. The typical charge for this device/service will be anywhere from one hundred dollars to a few hundred, installed.

Solution

Make sure your customers understand that there isn’t a single cure-all device for saving electricity. Let them know that the electricity service they are receiving meets all industry standards and while conserving electricity is a worthy goal, any device that attaches before the house meter is both dangerous and illegal.

Contact NeonLink, LLC if you would like to discuss ways to analyze or look for unusual customer demand changes that might signal theft of service issues.

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