Con Edison customers should be aware that a group of scammers across the country are calling residents and demanding instant payment or their utilities will be cut off, according to Con Edison officials.
The company says it receives dozens of complaints each week about calls to customers’ homes and businesses from scammers demanding immediate payment and threatening a service shutoff.
In an effort stop the scammers, Con Edison and more than two dozen other companies have formed a partnership seeking to warn customers not to fall for the scams. They have also begun a campaign to provide customers with information on the tricks scammers use and tips customers can use to protect themselves.
Scam callers claiming to be from Con Edison often tell a customer that service is going to be shut off due to unpaid bills unless the customer purchases a prepaid card or arranges for a transfer via MoneyGram to pay a bill, Con Ed officials said.
These callers are not from Con Edison, and Con Edison does not accept payments of electric or gas bills by prepaid debit cards, by MoneyGram or similar transfers.
The scammers sometimes even tell the customer about a store near the customer's home or business that sells prepaid cards. The scammer instructs the customer to pay cash to put money on the card and to then provide the number on the card to the person who called, officials reported.
Once the customer provides the scammer with the card number, the scammer steals the money.
There have even been reports of these scammers making a Con Edison phone number show up on the customer's caller ID.
Con Edison is also warning residents to never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the telephone, unless you are certain you are speaking to a Con Edison representative.
In addition, Con Ed officials are urging customers to never provide a Social Security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it unless they initiated the contact and know the identity of the person they are speaking with.
Those who feel they may have been a target of a payment scam should call their local police department. They may also call Con Edison at 1-800-75CONED.
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