For Immediate Release
Company cautions customer against reoccurring “Green Dot” Visa credit card scam in which individuals misrepresent themselves as BGE employees over the phone to obtain credit card information
BGE urges customers who may be contacted as part of the scam to hang up and call BGE at 1.800.685.0123
BALTIMORE (June 27, 2014) – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) puts the safety of its customers and employees as its top priority and as such, the company is launching an educational campaign to inform customers about potential utility imposters. This effort aims to help customers protect themselves and their families’ personal information, and homes or businesses. BGE urges customers to be aware of individuals who may pose as a BGE employee either in person or over the telephone in an attempt to steal money and other valuables by gaining access to customer homes or businesses or to gain credit card information. Imposters may even wear “official-looking” clothing and carry fake credentials. BGE urges customers to always call BGE at 800.685.0123 to verify an employee’s credentials or with any questions or concerns. If at any time, customers are concerned for their safety, they should contact 911.
In the past year, BGE and other utility companies across the nation have seen an increase in customers contacted as part of a telephone scam, referred to as the “Green Dot” Visa credit card scam. The callers misrepresent themselves as a BGE employee and tell customers their service is scheduled to be terminated. In order to stop the termination, the imposters inform the customers that they should make a payment by purchasing a “Green Dot” Visa credit card. The customers are then directed to call another phone number where information is obtained from the credit card and the monetary value is removed from the card. This is a scam and the funds are not being used for a BGE bill. Customers should not provide any type of payment or financial information in response to this “Green Dot” scam and should hang up immediately. If customers are contacted as part of this scam, the company asks them to call local law enforcement and the BGE Customer Contact Center immediately at 800.685.0123.
As a reminder, BGE no longer accepts cash payments in the field and generally only requires entry into a customer’s home in response to gas or electric emergencies, to check BGE equipment, read BGE meters, install new BGE electric and natural gas smart meters, or to start or stop service.
“The safety of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we encourage our customers to be vigilant about their safety in their homes and businesses,” said Carol Dodson, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “At times, a BGE representative may require entry into the customer’s home. If the entry is requested, the customer should always ask to see photo identification. All BGE employees and contractors carry company identification badges, which should be visible at all times, displaying their name, photograph and identification number. If at any time you have any questions, we urge customers to call BGE at 1.800.685.0123. A customer contact center representative can verify the employee and the nature of the visit or phone call.”
BGE offers customers safe, convenient ways to make payments including calling the BGE customer contact center at 800.685.0123, online at bge.com, by mail and at authorized America’s Cash Express and Global Express locations. For any questions about accepted BGE payment methods, or to verify the identification of any persons requesting customer information or entry into a home or business, contact BGE. Customers can also find information about payment options and protecting themselves and their families against utility imposters at bge.com.
BGE works closely with local law enforcement to address these types of issues, but also urges customers to take an active role in ensuring their safety against imposters by taking the following steps:
BGE encourages customers to share these safety tips with elderly family members, friends and children. For more information, visit bge.com.
In addition, BGE customers have the option of purchasing natural gas and electricity from third-party suppliers and representatives of these companies may contact customers in person, by mail or telephone seeking their business. They may also ask to see the customer’s BGE bill. Representatives of third-party suppliers should carry identification from the company for which they work, not BGE. Customers should not hesitate to ask to see their badge and verify their identification. For more information on customer choice, visit bge.com/choice.
BGE will continue to provide important safety information to customers via the company’s monthly bill insert, BGE Connections, social media and on its website at bge.com.
BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 655,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.