Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Drivers warned of scams when using public electric vehicle chargers

Electric vehicle owners are being urged to check they are using legitimate services when paying for their charging after some instances of scam stickers being affixed to chargers.

A handful of drivers have reported seeing loose stickers on charging stations across the country and posting pictures and videos on social media to warn other EV owners.

One charger in particular, an Ubitricity device, was found to have a black sticker of a QR code stuck on top of a poster instructing drivers on how to use the charger with a green QR code.

Quentin Willson, founder of FairCharge, spoke to GB News in January and warned drivers to be cautious when charging and what items to look out for to ensure they are using a legitimate service.

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A fake sticker on top of a green QR code showing people how to use the EV charger

Ubitricity has urged drivers to run their finger over the top of the QR code to ensure it is real


He said fraudulent stickers would be placed on top of the green QR codes on chargers, adding that black and white QR codes were not standard and that drivers should avoid them at all costs.

Speaking to GB News, a spokesperson for Ubitricity advised drivers how to act when charging to ensure they do not get scammed by a fake sticker.

The spokesperson said: “Before scanning a QR code, we advise customers to make sure that no other QR sticker is stuck over the sign, this can be done by running their finger over the QR code to ensure another sticker has not been placed on top.

“We at Ubitricity will never stick a second separate QR code sticker over an existing sign.

“When replacing damaged signs, our technicians always replace the whole sticker.”

Once an electric vehicle driver has scanned a legitimate QR code, it will bring them to the official Ubitricity pay-as-you-go website.

The webpage will guide them through the charging process on their phone’s browser to ensure their car is properly connected and charging.

Experts are warning that before entering any personal or financial information, they should always check the URL in the browser to ensure it is legitimate.

The spokesperson continued, saying: “The right website address should read mysimplesocket.com or charge.ubitricity.com without any dashes or hyphens (or other full stops than shown here) in these words.

“Other indicators to check are the functionality of the menu and links in our web app.

“If customers or unsure, or if a sign looks suspicious, please reach out to our customer hotline at 0800 024 6279 or support@ubitricity.co.uk (available 24/7) and our team will be happy to support.”

The latest data from Zapmap shows that there are almost 54,000 charging points around the UK, with Shell Recharge Ubitricity having a 15.4 per cent market share of the network.


An Ubitricity electric car charger

There are 8,289 Ubitricity chargers registered with the Zapmap database


This gives Ubitricity the largest share of the market than any other charge point operator in the UK. There are 8,289 Ubitricity chargers registered with the Zapmap database.

Experts are still hoping that all charge point operators will continue the rollout of these chargers in a bid to reach the Government’s goal of 300,000 chargers by 2030.


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