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Pepco Joins Effort to Protect Customers from Scammers for Utilities United Against Scams Day

To combat long-running scams that target customers, Pepco is joining forces with electric and natural gas utilities across the United States and Canada for the first-ever "Utilities United Against Scams Day." Pepco and the other Exelon utilities, Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power and PECO are committed to educating customers and putting a stop to scamming. 

The cohort of utilities have designated Nov. 16 as "Utilities United Against Scams Day," which will culminate a week-long campaign focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves. The collaborative campaign encourages the public to share these messages to help guard against scam activity.

When being scammed, a customer typically receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a utility representative. The scammer warns that the customer's service will be disconnected if the customer fails to make a payment - usually within a short time frame.

Employees are encouraged to share the following tips and things to look out for with friends, family members, and neighbors to stop scammers in their tracks.

  Red flags for scam activity
  • The thief becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn't made - usually within less than an hour.
  • The thief instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card - widely available at retail stores - then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment.
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card's receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card's funds.

How to protect customers

  • Utility representatives will never ask or require a customer with a delinquent account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.
  • Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification with the regular monthly billing - never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
  • If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police then Pepco at 202-833-7500. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.

Don't Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:

  • Never provide social security or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
  • Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
  • When in doubt, check it out. Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. If you have any doubts, ask to see a company photo ID.
  • Never make payment for services to anyone coming to the door.
  • If customers have concerns about the status of their account, they can contact Pepco at 202-833-7500.

For more information about Pepco, visit www.pepco.com. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pepcoconnectand on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.pepco.com/mobileapp.      

      

                                                                           

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