Metro NY BBB Warns about a Spike in Reports of Bogus Utility Calls

  
     
May 05, 2017

Metro NY BBB Warns about a Spike in Reports of Bogus Utility Calls

(New York, NY) - BBB Serving Metropolitan New York is alerting consumers and businesses to be wary of telephone calls from individuals claiming to be representatives of Con Ed and demanding immediate payment of a bill. These individuals are contacting Con Ed customers and threatening to shut off utility services if the customer does not pay the fictional charges straightaway.

Metro NY BBB noted a spike in reports about these fraudulent calls to Scam TrackerSM, BBB's free interactive tool that provides consumers across North America with a place to post and view reports about scams, fraud, and malicious or suspicious activities. Recent reports say Con Ed customers receive a call or voicemail message about the non-payment of a utility bill, and must pay the outstanding charges immediately, or their electric or natural gas services will be disconnected.

One business owner says he was told by the fraudulent Con Ed representative that he could not use a credit card to make the payment, but that he must purchase a corporate card called "Money Packs" to pay his bill. The business owner was also told that he only had 30 minutes to buy the prepaid card or his electricity would be disconnected. Another report of this scheme alleges that an attempt was made to dupe a consumer into paying his bill with a prepaid debit card, after he had already paid his bill the day before directly to Con Ed.

Con Ed, formally known as Consolidated Edison, Inc., is an energy company that provides electric, gas, and steam to NYC and Westchester. The company has an advisory on its website to be on the lookout for the type of scam BBB has recently noted: http://conedscamalert.com/

TIPS TO AVOID FALLING FOR THIS TYPE OF SCAM

  • Hang up the phone or do not return the call if a message has been left.
  • Call Con Ed at 800-752-6633 to check the status of your bill and to report this scam.
  • Call your bank to verify if the payment you have made to Con Ed has posted.

 

About BBB Serving Metropolitan New York
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 170 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 106 regional, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation. The BBB Serving Metropolitan New York was founded in 1922. Please visit newyork.bbb.org or bbb.org for more information.