A recent increase in calls has prompted the Better Business Bureau to issue another warning on scam artists that are targeting individual consumers and businesses with the false claims that their utility bills are delinquent and their service is in danger of being disconnected.
The BBB has received calls from concerned consumers and businesses who state that they have received calls from individuals claiming to be from ComEd making demands that they immediately make payment on their alleged delinquent accounts.
Paul Callighan, a spokesman for ComEd says “they have not determined how the scammers are doing it but they believe they have somehow tied their calls to ComEd’s billing cycle and an investigation remains underway”.
Additionally, he advises consumers “ComEd never calls to ask customers to make payment over the phone” instead he says “we direct them to our secure online payment system or to call in to the automated payment option by phone.”
All callers to the BBB said they were contacted by a male and described him as being demanding but calm.
“A number of the callers to our office said they were Senior Citizens which could mean that Seniors are being targeted given that they are most likely to be home at the time these calls are being made” says, Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.” “If a consumer receives one of these calls they should never provide any personal or financial information.
The BBB also recommends consumers:
The BBB is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. It is supported by businesses to protect consumers against scams and other unethical business practices. The group accomplishes this by educating both consumers and businesses, and by highlighting trustworthy businesses. By developing reports and ratings on businesses and charitable organizations, the BBB encourages people to use these as resources and referrals to utilize the free services before making a purchase or donation. The BBB helps resolve buyer/seller complaints through its alternative dispute resolution process. In 2013, the BBB provided more than 22,600,000 instances of service. Over 80 percent of consumer complaints to the BBB were resolved. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is a member of the international BBB system that services the United States, Canada and Mexico.