Eversource is cautioning its East Coast utility customers to be wary of fraudsters who have recently been targeting consumers in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
This week, Eversource issued an alert after receiving reports of "scam artists aggressively targeting utility customers.”
Officials said that new tactics are being used as scammers continue fine-tuning their techniques, including phony caller IDs that display “Eversource” and scripts that sound like a legitimate company representative threatening to disconnect their electric or gas service because of an unpaid bill.
To avoid becoming the victim of a scam, Eversource has provided consumers tips and advice:
- "Eversource representatives never demand instant payment over the phone, require the use of pre-paid debit cards, or request customers meet at a 'payment center' to make the payment;
- Never provide personal financial or account information to any unsolicited person on the phone, at the door, or online, even if they seem legitimate;
- Beware – some sophisticated scammers can manipulate their caller ID to say the caller is with Eversource;
- Customers who are scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive a written notice that includes information on how to maintain their service;
- Customers can verify they are speaking with an Eversource representative by asking for some basic information about their account - like the name on the account, the account address, and the exact past due balance."
"Unfortunately, these scammers sound legitimate and with a phony caller ID they’re even more convincing – so we all need to have our ‘guard up’ more than ever,” Eversource Senior Vice President and CCO Penni Conner stated. “These scam artists sound sophisticated and are ruthless.
"That’s why we’re reminding customers to beware – if they get a call and the caller’s message doesn’t look or sound right – don’t panic and don’t pay," Conner continued. "Remember, we will never threaten to disconnect service or demand instant payment over the phone.”
Anyone who believes they have been the target of fraudsters has been advised to contact their local law enforcement agency and alert Eversource by calling 1-800-286-2000 to verify if the scammer is an actual employee of the utility company.
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