Line meter: how individuals are using scammers to ‘steal energy’ and reduce their bills

Faced with regular energy price increases, some households no longer hesitate to tamper with the electricity meter to save money. A risky and illegal manipulation that was nevertheless carried out over hundreds of meters across France.

Who has never dreamed of reducing their energy bill effortlessly? Ads of traffickers offering their services to individuals for a few hundred euros flourish on Snapchat or Telegram. Fast, efficient technique for consumers and “undetectable”, say fraudsters operating across France, revealed Parisian.

A juicy but risky venture

For operation, the cheaters have the perfect electrician’s kit: cables to make a branch, a screwdriver and a gasket identical to those installed by Enedis. But especially insulating gloves. Because the risk they take when opening the Line meters is neither greater nor less than electrocution.

Despite the risks of legal action and danger, the business is profitable and many people make a living from it.

Thousands of checks performed

Any manipulation of the meter exposes the offender to criminal proceedings for “energy theft”, for which he faces 3 years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. Enedis claims to have uncovered “1,000 (cases of) proven fraud handed over to various prosecutors in France”. A burning issue that the energy distributor is actively addressing: “Any attempted fraud is detected thanks to thousands of on-site inspectors and 250 agents working behind the scenes, using meter-integrated alarms and artificial intelligence to check fluctuations in household consumption.”

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