Rockville Police Offers Advice to Avoid Scams

Residents can protect themselves against scams, based on information from the Rockville City Police Department.

Phone Call Scam

A victim receives a call from someone claiming to be with their local utility company. The caller says that they’re about to cut off your service because of an overdue bill. The caller then tells the victim that they can stop and prevent the cutoff, if the victim provides them with a debit, credit card or a Green Dot MoneyPak or some other type of money card.

It’s a scam. If you receive such a call, do the following:

  • Check the phone number the caller is calling from and make a note of it. Many scammers use “spoofed” telephone numbers that actually look like your local utility company, but are not.

When in doubt, call your local utility company’s customer service number to verify your account.

  • Pull out your last utility bill statement and ask the caller to tell you the account number and the amount due.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your credit card, Social Security number, date of birth, etc.
  • Hang up on the caller and contact your local police department and your utility company. If possible, please provide to the police the caller’s name, company they stated they were with, and if you have caller ID, the phone number from which the caller has called from.

Utility Worker Imposter Scams

Scam No. 1 — A person posing as a utility employee knocks at the door and says to the victim that there is a major water leak (or gas leak) in the area and that he/she needs to come inside the house to check the pipes/lines in the basement. The unsuspecting victim allows the worker into the home and takes them down to the basement to view the pipes/lines. While the victim and the worker are in the basement, a second person enters and removes valuables from the home. Then after a few minutes the worker tells the victim that all is okay and that he/she needs to leave. It isn’t until later that the victim discovers their property missing.

Scam No. 2 — A person posing as a utility employee arrives at the victim’s residence and tells the victim that they have an overdue bill. The subject then tries to solicit a “payment” from the victim in order to avoid a cut off of their utility.

Scam No. 3 — A person posing as a utility employee arrives at the victim’s residence and tells them that he/she is there to reset the victim’s meter. The subject then tells the victim that there is a monetary charge for the service, and if the victim doesn’t comply, then he/she will be back to remove the meter.

It’s a scam. Should you have someone arrive at your door stating that they are with a utility company, do the following:

  • Ask to see their company ID. If the individual does not have the proper ID then contact the police immediately.
  • If you are unsure of the Worker’s ID, contact the utility company to verify the employee and t the nature of the work that is to be done.
  • Utility workers do not collect a bill payment by going to residences. Nor do they engage in soliciting products or services.
  • Never let anyone in your home to check for electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have schedule an appointment or reported a problem.

If you have any questions regarding utility services, solicitation or fraud, contact your local utility company:

PEPCO customer service, call 202-833-7500 or visit http://www.pepco.com.

WSSC customer service, call 301-206-9772 or 1-800-828-6439, or visit http://www.wsscwater.com.

City of Rockville Water, call 240-314-8420.

Washington Gas customer service, call 703-750-1000, or visit http://www.washingtongas.com.

You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357.

To report a crime contact the Rockville City Police Department, 240-314-8900.

Help us help you, by staying safe and not becoming a victim.

Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.

Comments

| No comments yet.



Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter