Electric Company Calling for Shut Off!

Warning Ohio Edison customers - Electric Power shut off scam is back!
September 27, 2016

OHIO EDISON Customers!

FIRST, here is a letter we received from a BBB Accredited Business in Huron, Ohio:

"On September 22 I received a call from 'Ohio Edison' who is our electric provider for the Sandusky area. They told me that I needed to pay a past due balance of $1,464.83 or my electric would be shut off within the hour. Our electric service is critical and they were very convincing and I could not afford to lose our service. I followed their instructions and sent the money to them via PayPal at a Rite Aid store. The person that I sent it to was Todd Harper at 1-888-693-9953 ext. 401. They answered that it was Ohio Edison when I called back after finding out it was a FRAUD! Please get the word out that these calls are a SCAM so it will save someone else from making the same mistake."

We at BBB have talked to other businesses who were fooled by this scam. The callers are VERY convincing and sometimes have account numbers and billing dates! If you receive such a call, get all information and then call your power company directly on their published phone line to determine if it is a scam. Do NOT be pressured into sending money!

We continue to receive reports of scammers targeting utility customers. In many cases, a telephone caller poses as an electric utility company employee and threatens to shut off the customer’s power unless an immediate payment is made. The customer is often told to pay using a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot/MoneyPak card, a money transfer service like Money Gram or Western Union, or in person at a physical location such as a Rite Aid Pharmacy.

Be aware that scammers often use Caller ID spoofing software to lead you to believe you are receiving a call from Ohio Edison, and/or provide you with a fake "verification" phone number. These call-back numbers may even include exact replicas of greetings and hold messaging you would hear calling Ohio Edison’s Contact Center.

If your account is past-due, you will receive a written notice of your account status, with instructions on how to avoid disconnection of service. We will NOT demand payment over the phone or at a particular physical location. Additionally, we do not accept prepaid debit cards or wire transfers as payment, and our representatives will not demand your bank information or credit card number over the phone.

If you would like to verify your account status, always call our Customer Service department at 1-800-633-4766, or log in to your account at www.firstenergy.com. Visit www.firstenergycorp.com/scaminfo regularly for current information on known scams and what you can do to help ensure the safety of your family, property and personal information.

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