Pepco Joins “Utilities Against Scams Day”
In an effort to combat long-running scams that target customers, Pepco is joining a group of electric and natural gas utilities across the United States and Canada for the first of its kind, “Utilities United Against Scams Day.”
According to a news release, Pepco along with other Exelon utlities, Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, and PECO are joining forces to put a stop to scamming. The cohort of utlities have designated Nov. 16th as “Utilities Against Scam Day,” which will caps a week-long campaign focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers and how customers can protect themselves.
Pepco released a list of tips customers can look out for.
Red flags for scam activity
- The thief becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
- The thief instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment.
- The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
How to protect customers
- Utility representatives will never ask or require a customer with a delinquent account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
- Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.
- Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification with the regular monthly billing – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
- If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police then Pepco at 202-833-7500. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.
Don’t Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
- Never provide social security or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
- When in doubt, check it out. Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. If you have any doubts, ask to see a company photo ID.
- Never make payment for services to anyone coming to the door.
- If customers have concerns about the status of their account, they can contact Pepco at 202.833.7500.
For more information, visit the Pepco website.