Pepco Warns Customers of Scam
Pepco officials are notifying customers about a scam that threatens to shut off electric service to customers because of false overdue bills. As in previous cases, like the “Green Dot Scam,” a person warns customers their electric service account is delinquent and will be shut off for non-payment unless immediate payment is made. A “Green Dot” prepaid money card is the scammers’ payment of choice because they can immediately collect the money, and the cards are not traceable.
The new reported twist involves criminals impersonating utility workers and appearing in person at a site with false credentials while the intended target simultaneously receives a phone call allegedly from the utility company.
The latest information from law enforcement is that the call looks real because the scam uses a spoofed Pepco phone number that may appear legitimate. The person calling also provides a reply phone number that directs customers to a phony automated Pepco answering service.
Many companies, including Pepco, will contact customers in person or via phone for various reasons. If someone claims to represent a company, whether the company is Pepco or another entity, it is important that customers take precautions to verify the person is affiliated with the company, especially if that person is requesting an immediate monetary payment.
Pepco officials said Pepco would never threaten to disconnect service without first offering multiple payment options. Pepco does not endorse a specific form of payment to address past-due accounts, and automated calls do not include a specific dollar amount for security reasons. If customers have any doubt about the validity of a person who claims to represent Pepco, they should call the Customer Care line immediately at 202.833.7500.
Pepco is asking customers to report any suspicious activity to local authorities, including the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division.