Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New York utility companies issue warning about aggressive scam tactics

Must read

It seems like scammers just never stop. But their more aggressive tactics are catching the attention of gas and electric companies. 

Imagine someone knocking on your door, saying they are with a utility company and then they ask to use your computer. That’s just one tactic the utility companies say they are seeing.

They say these alleged scammers are taking photos of bills, asking for a payment with a pre-paid debit card or offering a discount. According to NYSEG and RG&E, they will never send someone to a home to do any of these things. Scammers are also using fake phone numbers to call and text people.

If they’re aggressive and say they’re going to disconnect your service, that’s a red flag.

Again, companies won’t ask for payment in cash or a pre-paid debit card. So the advice to pass along is simple: If you’re uncertain of the identity of the caller or a visitor to your door, contact RG&E, NYSEG or whoever you have as a provider.

The same goes for mobile, internet, cable services and more. There tends to be an uptick in the spring and they are targeting the elderly. 

“I just think if you have a parent or someone that you care for who’s at home a lot and answers their phone, especially if they still have one of those landlines, look out for them and ask them and remind them to be alert,” said Shelby Cohen, senior manager of communications for NYSEG. “Be aware, [do] not give out their personal information over the phone.”

If you have a question call your company. Here are the numbers:

  • NYSEG: (800) 572-1111
  • RG&E: (800) 743-2110
  • National Grid: (800) 642-4272
  • Central Hudson: (845) 452-2700

If you do fall victim to a scam, don’t be ashamed, it happens. Call your local law enforcement and report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Also, start the process of getting help to protect your information.

If you fall victim to a scam that involves buying something online, the Better Business Bureau is the best option for that.

Latest article