MoneySavingExpert.com is warning again that we have no link to energy cold-calling company Money Expert, after the police issued the firm with advice following concerns raised by residents in Scotland.
Officers in Forth Valley, central Scotland, gave Money Expert "appropriate advice" having been contacted by concerned residents in Falkirk.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "[We] received a number of reports relating to cold callers in the Laurieston, Bainsford and Redding areas of Falkirk on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 May.
"The men were traced and it was determined that they were acting on behalf of a legitimate company. No criminality was established – however, the company were made aware of the concerns reported to us and appropriate advice was given."
We regularly hear of Money Expert cold-callers knocking on doors trying to sell energy products, and of confusion that MSE is involved, so we are reiterating our warning.
To be clear, Money Expert is nothing to do with MoneySavingExpert. We're a consumer help website, here to fight your corner. We don't in any way, shape or form take part in – or frankly even endorse – the practice of cold calling.
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Despite the police involvement in Scotland, Money Expert cold-callers seem to operate across Britain – and we're regularly contacted by people who are confused and think they're representing MoneySavingExpert.
Paula told us: "I've just had a guy knock on my door saying he was from MoneyExpert.com, asking if I'd had my gas and electric reports. I said I wasn't interested. On checking online I discovered they're not associated with you so I'm just letting you know."
And Amanda got in touch: "Had a cold caller at 8.30pm from Money Expert. I told him I used the MoneySavingExpert website but he didn't then mention that wasn't where he was from. I just did my research and found these companies are not related. Pretty shocked to be honest."
A Money Expert spokesperson declined to comment on the concerns about its staff in Scotland. But responding to reports of confusion elsewhere, he said: "Our staff are always clearly identified as representing MoneyExpert.com – they wear name badges and hi-vis jackets making that clear.
"Customers who choose to switch through our service receive a call from an independent service which again makes it clear that they are switching through MoneyExpert.com and any illustrations customers receive are also branded as MoneyExpert.com."
'Two lads knocked on my door claiming to be from MSE'
We've even heard reports of cold callers claiming to be from MoneySavingExpert. Again, we NEVER knock on doors – though it's not always clear who these cold callers do actually represent.
Jim, from Chelmsford in Essex, told us: "There is an energy company sales team canvassing in the Springfield area professing to have links with MSE."
Otilia, from Shipley in Yorkshire, said: "I just wanted to let you know I've had a cold caller saying he is from MoneySavingExpert.com. Of course I know he is not representing you, but I just wanted to let you know."
And Freya said: "I had two young lads knock on the door claiming to be from MoneySavingExpert – they definitely used the full company name. I don't deal with cold callers of any form so I sent them on their way."
Martin: 'I'm not a fan of energy cold-callers of any variety'
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis said: "This company (Money Expert) is nothing to do with MoneySavingExpert and nothing to do with me. I'm not a fan of energy cold-callers of any variety – the right way to do it is to do a full market comparison, not have someone trying to flog products at your door. So it is more than a little galling to have people think I'm behind this.
"And if the unconfirmed reports that some cold callers have been using my name is true, it's a dirty, disgusting attempt to confuse and mislead people, taking advantage of the name similarity.
"Yet regardless of that, and whoever the firm is trying to get you to switch energy on your doorstep, the best thing to do is just say 'no'.
"Plus why not download one of our free 'No Cold Callers!' signs to put on your door? Then if any firm still has the gall to knock, just point to that and politely close the door on them."