For Immediate Release
First-ever “Utilities United Against Scams Day” brings together utilities from across the United States and Canada
BALTIMORE (Nov. 16, 2016) – BGE has joined forces with electric and natural gas utility companies across the United States and Canada to help protect customers from the long-running scams targeting customers of utility service providers. BGE and the other Exelon utilities, Atlantic City Electric, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco are committed to educating customers and putting a stop to scamming.
The collaborating energy companies have designated Nov. 16 as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.” This day will be supported by a week-long campaign with content focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves. The joint effort, which includes utility member organizations such as Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association, encourages utilities to share these messages to help guard against scam activity.
“BGE is proud to join utilities across the country to partner in this important effort against scamming,” said Rob Biagiotti, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “We want to remind our customers that there may be occasions when BGE may need to call or visit homes or businesses for emergencies or to inspect or install equipment, but these situations can always be verified by calling BGE at 800.685.0123.”
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 shut off if the customer fails to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe through a prepaid debit card.
Scammers have even duplicated the upfront Interactive Voice Response system of some utilities, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate business. Some of these scammers also use caller ID spoofing to replicate a utility’s phone number.
Red flags for scam activity
How to protect yourself
Don’t Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
Any BGE customer who believes he or she has been a target of a scam is urged to contact their local police, and call BGE immediately at 800.685.0123 to report the situation.