Officials say that they are particularly targeting vulnerable people such as the elderly and single mothers and telling them that they can save a lot of money on their energy bills.
But they are giving out false information and then selling the solar panels, domestic wind turbines and geothermic heating systems at up to â‚¬25,000 over the normal price. They are also duping people into signing a contract for loans and credit well above the normal rates.
According to the Direction Departmentale de la Protection des Populations de la Manche (DDPP50) they are active at the moment in Carentan, Avranches, St Lo and Cherbourg.
â€˜They are targeting owners of bungalows in residential areas, often the elderly, but not uniquely. These swindlers are often businesses or sub contractors based in other departments, often in and around Paris,â€™ said a DDPP50 spokesman.
Their tactics include claiming to work with energy companies such as EDF, environmental organisations and even town halls. They put forward erroneous arguments such as telling people they need to comply with new rules, and give the home owners contracts that look authentic.
They also misrepresent the benefits of being able to sell electricity generated by renewable energy back to the gird. In fact they are making assertions that are completely false and such is the complexity of their arguments that the house holder is often left confused, according to the DDPP50.
â€˜In reality people end up signing a contract that they think is for an estimate or an order but which turns out to be a loan. The cost of the work is higher than normal and the credit charges are astronomical,â€™ the spokesman added.
He also explained that these unscrupulous companies are breaking consumer regulations by undertaking misleading commercial practices and selling products and services on the doorstep as well as being aggressive and praying on the vulnerable.
When it comes to doing the work these companiesâ€™ standards are below normal, not meeting current regulations and their installation qualifications are questionable.
The organisation is advising anyone to carefully read all the terms and conditions before signing any contract. It also says that people should get quotes from other companies before going ahead with any work so that they can compare prices.
â€˜If you have any doubts, donâ€™t hesitate to consult agencies that regulate energy firms and event he chamber of commerce or contact us,â€™ the spokesman explained.